military anyone?

Are any of you pre-med/med stus/residents considering the military option? Anyone already comissioned? If so, do tell a little bit about that.
Dennis Clark
Pre-med wannabe

Hi there,
I am not military but look for posts by Captain America. He is currently attending USHS (Uniformed School of Health Science) located on the campus of Bethesda Navel Hospital just over the city line from Washington, DC. He should be putting in an appearance at our upcoming convention and has graciously offered to tell everything complete with tours of his marvelous medical school. (I used to study in their library because it is so quiet and wonderfully stocked with every journal and board review book that you could imagine)
I can tell you about my best friend from medical school. Her name is Katrina Hall, M.D. She is a graduate of West Point and served in the Army from Operation Desert Storm to the Pentagon before going off active duty with the rank of Major and attending medical school. She took a military residency in General Surgery at Eisenhower Army Hospital at Ft. Gordon in Augusta, GA. She wasn't sure whether she would get into medical school after she had fulfilled her military commitment and was accepted late but did very well in medical school. I had another classmate who had graduated from West Point who is doing a surgical residency at Tripler in Hawaii. All of my classmates who are military chose military residencies.
I have a colleage here at the University of Virginia who is in the Virginia Air National Guard. He has not been called up so far. He joined the National Guard as a medical student. I also have another colleague who is Army Reserve and now a chief resident. He is probably not going to be called because of his level. He has one more year of residency. So far, none of the residents in the reserves or National Guard have been called into active duty. The nurses have been called up.
All of my military colleages have loved having the military options. They have obligations during the summer during medical school. They go to various bases and serve about a month between first and second year in special clerkships. They also get medical school paid for and a living allowance. The downside is that you can't participate in the scholarship program if you are older than 33.
Captain America will post from time to time so look for his posts. Otherwise, hop on the old Internet and find out what options are available. Good luck and welcome to the group!!

I am currently attending the Univ of Md on an AF Health Professions Scholarship. From 1995-2000, I served five years in the Army, serving back my committment from West Point. Because I was an officer in my previous life, I didn't have to attend the AF Commissioned Officer Training School, so I can't say much about actual life in the Air Force except what I've read about and have been told by others. I'll do my first tour with them this summer.
I left the Army to pursue my dream of becoming a physician, which I didn't discover is what I wanted to do until I had graduated undergrad. Since I was deployed so much while I was in the Army, I couldn't return to school to take the pre-reqs I was missing. So I left the service to return to school. At the time I didn't consider the possibility of returning to the military. But I never understood what it meant when people said a career was a calling (i.e. priests, physicians etc). Some may think it strange, but I truly miss the military, with its comraderie, its people, and its sense of duty.
I received both an Army and an Air Force scholarship and went with the Air Force just as something different. I was also accepted to USUHS as Army. After long deliberation with my husband we decided to go Air Force at Univ of Md, which allows me to be closer to my family during the next 3+ years.
Feel free to ask me anything about the application process or any of my experiences in the military. I'll be honest about the pros and the cons from my perspective. After this June, I can even tell you what my first ADT with the Air Force was like :slight_smile:
As for my scholarship, it pays all of my tuition and fees. I get reimbursed for my books and equipment after submitting a form with receipts. I also receive a stipend of (after taxes) $1000 per month. The whole process has been very painless. My contract stipulates that I can be called up; however, I'm pretty useless to them as a medical student. So unless they exhaust all of their other forces, I don't forsee myself getting called up.
Hope this helps and feel free to ask away,

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I served fourteen years as an Army Medical Service Corp officer before leaving active duty last year to enter medical school. I decided not to take an Army scholarship (although I am still considering the option of a three year scholarship- because of my prior service the age limit can be waived). I'm an Individual Ready Reservist currently and plan to become an active reservist after graduation. I'm very familiar with the Army Medical System, and have worked with some of the past and current USUHS faculty, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them.

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Hi There!
I was just commissioned as a 2LT in the Army. I applied for and was accepted to both the Air Force and Army HPSP scholarships. I chose the Army for two reasons. First and foremost, they offered me the scholarship first. I did not want to take the chance in turning them down and risk the possibility of not getting the Air Force one. The second reason is somewhat the same as Tec’s but just reversed. I am prior Air Force (6 years). Been there, done that so I chose Army instead. I loved the service! The military is a great way of life. I already know that I am going to make a career out of it. If you have any specific questions, feel free to e-mail me and will answer them to the best of my ability. All I can say is WHAT A GREAT DEAL! To have med school paid for, plus expenses and a living stipend every month? How can you go wrong? To come out 200,000 less debt is, in my book and my husbands, well worth it!!! smile.gif

I just wanted to add one more thing to Nat's post. I know the Air Force makes the cut off age 33 (you need to be commissioned before turning 34). Both the Navy and Army are 40. I was concerned about this when I first looked into the program because I am currently 33. Just thought I'd share.

Hi, I happened to come across this thread and it seems like an interesting option to say the least and am definitely interested in finding out more. I’m curious to hear all of your opinions on a some questions.
First, Is it any easier or harder to get into military med schools being a post-bac with NO previous military experience?
Second, I believe the military scholarships will allow you to attend any school you’re accepted at, but then I’ve heard you have some commitments during med school (like during the summer and also one weekend of every month for service?). How does that work and does it affect your med school performance?
Third, Is it worth it to be debt free, but committed to a program for four years after residency? I kind of like the idea of being debt free, but also like the idea of having the autonomy to choose what I do after residency.
Lastly, I’m turning 32 this year and applying for fall of '04. I know it’ll be hard enough getting a family going while in medical school, but would the scholarship be worth it if I’d have a family to consider when stationed God knows where during the “payback” time?
I know these are pretty long questions, and thanks for taking the time to read them all. I’d just hate to get into something without knowing the pros/cons, even if the pro is HUGE (debt free). Well, I just pray to get in somewhere and would accept whatever was available, desperate to be an MD like that. But, in the off chance I have a choice, it would be nice to have the information.
Thanks again,
Steve cool.gif

one more question for those who know…
At one of my interviews, the coordinator cautioned that if you choose the military option, the benefits you receive are taxed. She went on to explain that this could be a significant downside if you go to a private school with high tuition, because you might be getting the equivalent of $50,000 or more from your Uncle each year.
Now, I have not heard any of my military option classmates express a concern about this. And I know that my son, an NROTC midshipman 1/C (that means he's going into his senior year of college) is not taxed for his stipend.
So I am wondering, what's the deal with this? Obviously I am waaaaay past the cutoff age so this is academic curiosity on my part but for some folks it could be a significant bit of information.

I have an AF HPSP scholarhship. My monthly stipend of $1200ish is taxed like any other paycheck and I clear about $1000 (I live in MD, a state that loves to tax its citizens). My tuition, books and fees add up to $20k plus, but I was not taxed on any of that. The finance at office at school bills AFIT (the AF office that runs the HPSP program) as a third party. Actually, AFIT is adamant about about scholarship receipients not paying the tuition bills directly to the school.
I guess the bottom line to the question Mary posed is that the stipend is taxed, but the tuition, book and fees payments are not.
Break’s over…back to studying for my cumulative physiology final sad.gif

Very interesting…many times I have wondered what the military committment really was. It sounds like all tuition + books paid (nontaxable) + a stipend (taxable) in exchange for four years of post residency service.
Can the years of service required decrease by choosing a military residency?
Does the stipend vary for family status (married + son)?
The age cutoff would limit the the options to Army & Navy for me, but all this is very interesting indeed. I had a friend that spent his last three years in the Navy stationed in Hawaii. He just loved that phase! The prior three years were assigned as a nuclear engineer or such on a ship or sub.

You stated: >>(although I am still considering the option of a three year scholarship- because of my prior service the age limit can be waived).
Is it true that the age limit can be waived if you have any prior service, or are there conditions? For example, you must have been an officer (I was not), or your must have served a minimum amount of time (maybe 10 years). If there are any restrictions on this waiver, I would be interested in what they are.

Hello friends,
I have an uncle who is a commander in the Navy's pacific fleet. He is stationed in Okinawa. He is an M.D. and D.M.D… He has been in for about fifteen years. Originally, he was a dentist but the Navy sent him back to finish the last two years of med school. He very much enjoys his position and receives the most advanced recurrent training. (He has never been on a float (boat duty for non Navy/Marine Corps folks).
I once considered the reserves (as a JAG officer) but he advised against it. He told me that he had seen many a good dentist and doctor lose their practice because of a call to active duty. (Just something to think about)

I am doing my AF ADT as I write and we received a personnel briefing yesterday, so I can try to answer about the commitment question. You incure an Active Duty Service Commitment (ADSC) for each year you are a scholarship recipient. For example, I am a four-year recipient so I will have a four year commitment. A three-year recipient will have a three-year commitment. This commitment CANNOT be repaid while you are in training, so your payback doesn't begin until you complete your residency.
However, all training also incurs a commitment, so while you are in residency, you incur a second commitment that is the length of the program less one year. So, if you do a 5 year surgery residency, then the commitment incurred for residency is 4 years. Also, for a 6 year plastic surgery residency, you would incur a five year commitment.
These two ADSC's will be served off concurrently. So, say I go into a six year plastics residency, then I would complete my residency in 2012 since I graduate medical school in 2006. Then my payoff as an attending would look like
2012-2013 --> 1 yr of med school commitment + 1 yr residency commitment
2013-2014 --> 1 yr of med school commitment + 1 yr residency commitment
2014-2015 --> 1 yr of med school commitment + 1 yr residency commitment
2015-2016 --> 1 yr of med school commitment + 1 yr residency commitment
2016-2017 --> 1 yr residency commitment
2017 --> free of all commitment
Thus, the minimum commitment I will serve is four years for the four years I receive a scholarship. The length of my residency can only increase my commitment.
However, it is possible for me to not do a residency and to serve of my med school commitment soon after graduating med school by doing only an intern year (usually a transitional PGY1 year) and then VOLUNTEERING to become a GMO flight surgeon (general practitioner that works with flying units, not a surgeon as we think of). After four years, I would then have completed my commitment. While in the military you can never say that something will not happen, but the AF will NOT force you to do become a GMO (not true in other services). Their theory is that they won't stay if you're unhappy.
I 'm sorry that this is really long, but I hope it helps.

Sorry for not having replied sooner, but finishing up 1st year has been a bear, and I haven't been on line much. One more week until Pharmacology final, and first year will be done!
Anyway…I am not certain about the exact requirements for a waiver, but I BELIEVE prior service (regardless of whether as an officer or enlisted) does help with the waiver process. I really didn't look to much into it, because I was pretty much assured by two recruiters in two different regions that it wouldn't be a problem for me. I am certain any prior service would help in the application process though.


All I know is that everytime I was deployed somewhere, the military docs wanted to either shoot me with a vaccine gun or jab me full of some unknown toxin.
There are both good and bad things associated with the military. If you are a smart-aleck like me, the military would make you highly miserable. If on the other hand, rigid structure and bureacracy don’t bother you, then the opportunity to get a free medical education is awesome. And, the non fleet units offer excellent medical care(in the Navy). A friend in my unit was one of the first persons outside San Francisco to contract aids and the folks at Bethesda cared for him incredibly well until his death at age 21.
By the way, there is an excellent commentary on this subject by the world’s foremost expert(in my humble opinion) and my hero, Dr. C. Everett Koop. Visit
and listen to him detail how AIDS got its start and how the NHS tried to deal with it early on.
If you are excited about treating unknown strains of veneral disease, try the fleet marine forces or Naval Amphib units!!!

Hey, Lot’s of good and bad in the military, just like anywhere else. The only difference is when you run into those really difficult human beings, you cannot always walk away from them. So, if that’s something you can deal with, you will certainly live a useful life in the service and there is nothing like it if you like novelty and adventure (out in the field anyway). It also takes a little getting used to becoming an officer and being treated simultaneously with respect and scorn until you have proven yourself. And I mean proven that you care about your subordinates, not just that you know your stuff. This is an area in which I can give lots of advice, unlike any other area,and you will do well to remember that if you stand up for your soldiers they will stand up for you. And don’t forget they just might know something that you don’t. If I were younger, it’s a path I would take again, only through medicine instead of military intelligence. No jokes about mutual exclusivity please. Good luck with your decision.

Where and when were you stationed with MI units? I spent the majority of my time as a signal officer with intel units as there is a paucity of TS cleared signal officer, so once you get it, you get funneled to intel units.
Also, where are you in the application process? In applying for both med school and residency, interviewers have focused a lot on my deployments and military experience. The questions weren’t of a confrontational nature; on the contrary, they were curious about what life is on deployments and the physical and mental demands of being in the military.

I just want to add another little tidbit of info.
You incur additional active duty service commitments (ADSC) each time you PCS (move) or get additional training in the USAF, and for some promotions. Most are served concurrently with your previous ADSCs, so they may not increase your total ADSC…depends. But, I’ll tell you that you need to keep an eye on this if you are trying to keep your ADSC to a minimum. For example, when you PCS CONUS (continental US) to CONUS you incur a 2 year commitment and CONUS to OCONUS (outside the continental US) you serve whatever the time commitment for that location 1,2, or 3 years.
On the positive side as a former acitve duty USAF officer (currently IRR) and curent USAF wife (for 8.5 years) I can tell you there are many great oppotunities in the USAF. You will work with some of the best people in the world, be given unbelievable levels of responsibility, and make friends who are like family.
Best of luck to you,

Hi Tara,
I apologize for taking so long to repond, but I recently moved and can’t get online just yet, so I am borrowing the connectedness of others. I was in from 1984 to 1989, resigning when I found I was expecting. Spent most of '84 at Huachuca for MIOBC. My first PCS was Ft. Knox;I was supposed to go elsewhere but I requested a change due to getting married to someone already there. Do I wish I had been denied that change? Yes! Anyway, spent time there with a detachment in support of the 5/41st FA, as the Detachment S-4 and EPW PL (I had a mixture of Korean and Arabic interrogators-strange combination). Also spent some time there with a CI unit (threat assessment and inspection of municipal emergency ops centers)which I loved because we could wear civvies-a real boon during Kentucky summers. From there went to Germany, where I spent the entire 3 years with the 517th MI BN (VII Corp), just rotating through different jobs (EW PL and a variety of S-3 plans and ops stuff. When I had the electronic warfare platoon, I had loads of fun. During deployments we were forward attached to the 1st ID(F) and thus were pretty independent. Got to participate in 2 NATO exercises, so who knows? We may have crossed paths if you were around at that time. I didn’t get to do REFORGER because I was acting rear det BN CO during that deployment, but I understand it was a good one.My EW PLT was also responsible for the SCIF (this was back when keypad entries were so new they were considered cool). Since we were tactical exploitation, we were pretty self-contained, having EW, CI, and even a company of Rangers. That made the S3 shop kind of a fun place to be also.
How about you? Where did you go? What did you think about being attached to MI units? We had a commo plt as part of HHC company. What types of units were you with? I was so sure that having that TS/SCI clearance would be marketable as a civilian–it’s actually been the least used item among my credentials!
I am glad to hear you say that adcoms have found your deployment history interesting-I had wondered if that might be a little negative spot for some. I would be interested to hear more details about those discussions, if you have time. I imagine some others with military backgrounds might be interested too.
Thanks Tara,