Hey everyone

Hey everyone, I have been reading everything I can on this board and I have to tell everyone this is awesome to find a group of people that share common dreams of being a Dr and all having unique but similar stories and amazing determination. Thank you for sharing insite and your life with me.

About me my name is Chris and I am currently in the united States Army. I am a SSG currently in the position of a Combat Medic for an Infantry Line co in Iraq.

I love what I do but let me start at the begining.

I entered the military straight out of high school having dreams of becoming a Pilot only because I didn’t think I would cut it as a Dr., very inmature, so the recruiter talked me into going 11B, infantry, ranger. He said “you would get plenty of time in a helicopter” So I agreed and went on my journey. I spent 3 years in a ranger battalion going all over the world saw the inside of a helicopter plenty never saw the instruments though, which was the idea. So I got out and decided I was grown up enough to go to college. I did very poorly I got too tied up with the social aspect of college and so I jumped around and had my first child. I had owened a few companies and did well but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. When I was 27 I decided I would go back into the Army and go Special Forces since I already had a spec ops job before I waited for 2 years to go to the selection process and decided to go another direction ,combat medic. I loved it the job that I had previously required that I kill people and now I get to save them, much more interesting and complicated. I was deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11 and saw my share of tragedy but I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life but more. over that period of time I reenlisted to go to a Nursing program ,LPN, for the Army. I learned so much and had already had many critical care skills. I excelled in critical care and spent a year doing critical care at Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis WA. It was great. It was then I knew that I wanted to be a Dr. Because of the way the Army trains I had the experience of an RN and knew a lot more than a graduate RN. I got off of active duty and staid in the reserves. I spent the following few years working for an agency in AZ and worked all across the different aspects of nursing. ICU, hospice, psych, correctional, long term vent care. all kinds of stuff. I ws working my self to death trying to make it to where I could go back to school. I married my wife and she also had a child so i put off school even longer to support my family. We moved to CO and I started working At Denver Health in an Acute Care/ Tele floor it was a great experience because it was a teaching hospital. I learned so much and got to meet all sorts of docs. My wife and I decided that me going back on to Active duty would be beneficial do to the education programs and the MD program they have. I thought I would be great for I was wrong I had e-mailed the program and they said I was too old and wouldn’t be able to gt a waiver. I was crushed i thought I would have to settle for nursing and then my wife asked why and I said we will never be able to afford it on our own and she said yes we could if you really want to go. So here I am I have been deployed 2 times to Iraq and still working on my prereqs I start at KSU in Jan of 2010 ajd am very excited. I talk about this board all the time to my wife and she is also very excited, by the way my wife is also a nurse. and we just had our 2 child. I look forward to talking to you all in the future.


Your story is fascinating. Thanks for sharing it with us. You are not the first person who had a less than stellar start to college–I’m glad that experience isn’t holding you back.

It sounds like you’ve got at least two great things going for you. First, you have had ample experience to truly know that this is what you want to do. Not only do you have the passion, but you’ve seen directly how physicians work from day to day, and seeing that, are still interested in pursuing this career. You are way ahead of many others. Second, it sounds like you have a very supportive family. A little advice–never lose sight of what your family is giving up as you pursue your dream. Tell your wife on a daily basis how much you both recognize and appreciate her part in all of this. And, of course, kiss your kids often and tell them how much you love them!

Six years into this process and now in my final year of medical school, I can’t say that it has always been joyous. Nor can I say that I never had doubts, especially during the first year of medical school. But looking back I would still do it in a heartbeat and I am so glad that I found the confidence to just go for it. And had I not had a supportive spouse I’m not certain I could have done it, especially in those times when I was struggling. I keep telling her that her payback is coming soon–I doubt she believes me.

And, if you’ve got the time and finances, I encourage you and your wife to attend the conference this organization holds in the summer. I believe it will be in Chicago in 2010. It’s a great place to meet others, visit with med schools, and get great advice both on your pre-med/med school application and med school paths.

Best of luck on your journeys as you progress towards January. And I can’t let this message end without saying “thank you” for your service in our military–you individuals are truly a special breed.


My name is SPC Scott Halquist and I am on the same track you were describing. I am 31 years old and will be applying to USUHS on 01Jun2010 for the school of medicine. I am currently assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston. I am around AMEDD staff on a regular basis and there has been no indication that an age waiver will be an issue for me. In fact, the school catalog states that if you meet the requirements to become an officer and have a strong application to the school an age waiver will be requested on your behalf.

“Be at least 18 years old at the time of matriculation but no older than 30 as

of June 30 in the year of admission (civilians and enlisted personnel). Applicants

older than 30 years of age may apply to the School of Medicine. If they

are recommended for a position by the admissions committee and approved

by the dean, an age waiver is requested from the Offi ce of the Secretary of

Defense (Health Aff airs) prior to extending an off er.

Meet the requirements for holding a commission in the uniformed services

(see the section Physical Standards)

Be of sound moral character

Be motivated for a medical career in the uniformed services

Meet the academic, intellectual, and personal qualifi cations of the School”

I have done a lot of research on this topic and am determined to get into the school. I would not take no for an answer from them, especially since the new report just came out that AMEDD only filled 33% of their goal for physicain in 2008. I know you are deployed, but if there is anything I can do to help you on this mission please let me know. I am in the right place to ask what ever questions you may have and I am more than willing to do it for you.

I appreciate that thank you for the information as well. I have a profus Doc as a BN sergeon and he went to USUHS. He had said that the only waivers he is aware of are the ones for Officers. but maybe he doesn’t know all the ends and outs he is a young DOC.

SSG Broad,

Thank you for your interest in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The age limit for the School of Medicine is 30, meaning the applicant may be no older than 30 by June 30 of the year of matriculation. There are some exceptions to this rule. Age waivers may be requested for civilian or enlisted military personnel. These waivers have a history of being approved up to the age of 33 and disapproved for ages 34 and above. There is an automatic age waiver for commissioned military personnel. The automatic age waivers give one year of waiver for each year of commissioned service time up to age 35. For example, if you were age 34 with 6 years of commissioned service, you would then meet the age requirement (34 years old minus 6 years service = 28 which is below the age limit of 30). However, if you were age 38 with 6 years of commissioned service, you would then exceed the age requirement (38 years old minus 6 years service = 32 which is above the age limit of 30). An additional age waiver may be requested for the excess years; however, each waiver is granted on a case-by-case basis by a tri-service Waiver Authority. Applicants may not contact the Waiver Authority, as they will only coordinate with the University. Enlisted service time is not considered, nor may it be used, for waivers. Please keep in mind that even though it is possible to request an age waiver, the approval rate is not high. The Office of Admissions will notify applicants when it is time to request an age waiver.


Lenora Hamlette

NaShieka Knight

Connie Mayo

Office of Admissions

F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

4301 Jones Bridge Road, Rm A 1041

Bethesda, MD 20814



301-295-3545 fax

295-3101 DSN



I haven’t given up yet I am still working on it and I will apply to this school but I was weighing a lot to get in this school because of finances and I love treating soldiers. That is what I have done for the past 8 years but I am willing to accept going another route. Thank s again for the information. Good luck…

I would love to be in the position you are in right now. I wish I was back in a Medical Center again It is very difficult to stay on top of my nursing skills on the line. That is one thing I hate about the new MOS changes to 68W.