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Advice Needed: Still want to go to Medical School so Active Duty or Reserves?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by TrueSelf, 04.16.12.

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  1. TrueSelf


    Kansas City, Kansas
    SDN 2+ Year Member

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    I'm an Army ROTC cadet and I will be commissioning this spring. I applied for medical school this year and was approved for the educational delay which goes until Oct. 6. However, I have not received any acceptances. I applied to 20 schools and only received 1 interview which I got wait listed for. The rest, I was denied or still waiting to hear back from (at this point, I don't have much hope). I still want to be a medical officer however, if I don't get into medical school this cycle, for those who are current medical officers, are in the process of becoming one, or those who were prior service, what is your advice? These are the 2 options I have in mind-

    A: Go to the Reserves and improve upon my application and reapply for the 2013 cycle (I would not have a job, I would only be studying for the MCAT, getting more clinical experience)...and living with my parents to save on living costs. Pros- I would be focusing on getting into medical school. Cons- I would not be getting much real world experience because all I've known my entire life is school and studying.

    B: Go Active Duty and complete my obligation of 4 years, save money for a 1-2 year grad school program, and then reapply to medical school? Pros- making money, getting real world experience Cons- I would be 27 by the time I complete my obligation so 29 by the time I apply for medical school. I'd like to have a family too!

    Your input is much appreciated!
  2. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Serve AD if serving as a line officer is important to you; I don't get the impression that it is. A four year delay is nothing in the grand scheme of things but a needless diversion if not spent on something you value. There's the very real risk that injury, illness, or just life will get in the way of any goal you choose to delay so decide whether military service or medical school is at the top of your goals.

    Go Reserves or Guard if your main goal is being a physician. You can avoid the delay and can serve later as a physician though there is a good chance your obligation will be a bit longer. In addition it will allow you more time to focus on improving your application.

    PURE SPECULATION: The AD tour can be a nice touch for someone who was a decent candidate before but I have to imagine medical schools are going to be weary of a previously poor applicant who now has 4 years away from full-time schooling...

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