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About the Uniformed Services University

nckorfor

New Member
Jun 1, 2020
7
1
26
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all,

I am a rising senior in college recently came across the opportunity of the USUHS in Maryland. To receive world class training in military and medicine sounds amazing. I have always been someone who was too restless to stay in one place and have been always been seeking a greater challenge in my life. This sounds like a way to give back to a country which has given me so much and do what I love by practicing medicine.

I was hoping for some guidance.

-When I choose a service branch after residency, will I get what I ask for? (I am shooting for the Navy's Tropical Health Program or Space Force- would this be realistic?).

-Is there the opportunity to conduct research either during the 7 year service requirement or afterwards? Specifically I would like to conduct research on virology, epidemiology, or psychological resilience? How would this work out during the timeline?

-Why are there so few people who join USU/ what kind of people join USU? Is there high risk of death? Do many people just not desire the instability? Family life? I hope I will be surrounded by like-minded peers? Is it too good to be true?

-How can we transition to practicing in the civilian sector afterwards e.g. as a surgeon or psychiatrist?

-I have yet to take the MCAT. If I take it this winter, would I be able to enter by the academic year of 2021? Is taking a gap year advisable?

-I have been an athlete all my life and hope to continue to push myself physically while being a medical student- what would a day in the life entail at USUHS?

I really am note sure what to expect but I know I want to do something like this. How flexible will my options be afterwards if I want to say start a business or write a book and how flexible will be options be during the entire 16 or so years from school to end of service?

Would love to hear any and all opinions and even start a direct messaging conversation!

Thank you so much.
 
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lumya

Indoor Cat
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2018
703
1,402
126
  1. Medical Student
I applied there previously and it’s the only school on my reapplication list because I do believe in the mission of the school. I have no previous military experience but I’ve talked to a lot of people who have to try to get a better understanding. I think in general you need to be more loose on your expectation. You’ll be an officer first and participating in specific programs or doing certain types of research might not manifest (due to things outside your control) and you need to be okay with that.

You should check out the Military Medicine forum (there’s a lot of pros and cons discussed there). I would also recommend talking to a recruiter about it HPSP if you’re interested military medicine in general.

In general it wouldn’t be advisable to plan on taking the MCAT this winter if you’re planning on starting next year. USUHS said to apply without your MCAT score but that’s really cutting it close. Taking a gap year might be best so you can be better prepared.
 
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nckorfor

New Member
Jun 1, 2020
7
1
26
  1. Pre-Medical
I applied there previously and it’s the only school on my reapplication list because I do believe in the mission of the school. I have no previous military experience but I’ve talked to a lot of people who have to try to get a better understanding. I think in general you need to be more loose on your expectation. You’ll be an officer first and participating in specific programs or doing certain types of research might not manifest (due to things outside your control) and you need to be okay with that.

You should check out the Military Medicine forum (there’s a lot of pros and cons discussed there). I would also recommend talking to a recruiter about it HPSP if you’re interested military medicine in general.

In general it wouldn’t be advisable to plan on taking the MCAT this winter if you’re planning on starting next year. USUHS said to apply without your MCAT score but that’s really cutting it close. Taking a gap year might be best so you can be better prepared.

thank you so much
 
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Jun 8, 2007
792
508
366
  1. Attending Physician
Hi all,

I am a rising senior in college recently came across the opportunity of the USUHS in Maryland. To receive world class training in military and medicine sounds amazing. I have always been someone who was too restless to stay in one place and have been always been seeking a greater challenge in my life. This sounds like a way to give back to a country which has given me so much and do what I love by practicing medicine.

I was hoping for some guidance.

-When I choose a service branch after residency, will I get what I ask for? (I am shooting for the Navy's Tropical Health Program or Space Force- would this be realistic?).

-Is there the opportunity to conduct research either during the 7 year service requirement or afterwards? Specifically I would like to conduct research on virology, epidemiology, or psychological resilience? How would this work out during the timeline?

-Why are there so few people who join USU/ what kind of people join USU? Is there high risk of death? Do many people just not desire the instability? Family life? I hope I will be surrounded by like-minded peers? Is it too good to be true?

-How can we transition to practicing in the civilian sector afterwards e.g. as a surgeon or psychiatrist?

-I have yet to take the MCAT. If I take it this winter, would I be able to enter by the academic year of 2021? Is taking a gap year advisable?

-I have been an athlete all my life and hope to continue to push myself physically while being a medical student- what would a day in the life entail at USUHS?

I really am note sure what to expect but I know I want to do something like this. How flexible will my options be afterwards if I want to say start a business or write a book and how flexible will be options be during the entire 16 or so years from school to end of service?

Would love to hear any and all opinions and even start a direct messaging conversation!

Thank you so much.

Please do some searching/reading. Try Military Service Options For Every Step of the Aspiring Physician's Path - The Military Physician to get started.

-When I choose a service branch after residency, will I get what I ask for? (I am shooting for the Navy's Tropical Health Program or Space Force- would this be realistic?).
When applying to USUHS you rank which service you prefer. Most get their top choice. If your top choice of service branch is not available they ask if you are willing to accept your second or third choice. Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health only at this time. Residency is a whole other topic of discussion.

-Is there the opportunity to conduct research either during the 7 year service requirement or afterwards? Specifically I would like to conduct research on virology, epidemiology, or psychological resilience? How would this work out during the timeline?
Yes. You can do research if you would like but would plan to do it on your own time. There are research years during some residencies but this is highly variable.

-Why are there so few people who join USU/ what kind of people join USU? Is there high risk of death? Do many people just not desire the instability? Family life? I hope I will be surrounded by like-minded peers? Is it too good to be true?
There are only about 170 spots per year so it is competitive for those who want to go there. Most people who choose not to go to USUHS do so because of the 7 year commitment or they just aren't willing to accept a military lifestyle.

-How can we transition to practicing in the civilian sector afterwards e.g. as a surgeon or psychiatrist?
Look up skill atrophy as it relates to military medicine. It does exist. You can mitigate it some.

-I have yet to take the MCAT. If I take it this winter, would I be able to enter by the academic year of 2021? Is taking a gap year advisable?
See @lumya post aove.

-I have been an athlete all my life and hope to continue to push myself physically while being a medical student- what would a day in the life entail at USUHS?
Wake up, study. Work out whenever you want on your own time. Your branch of service will require you to pass their annual physical fitness tests. This is not negotiable. You can google the current requirements for each branch.
 
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BunnyMan17

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2014
268
235
216
  1. Resident [Any Field]
You can email current med students here, but @militaryPHYS pretty much covered it.

I will add they certainly don't look down on anyone for taking a gap year as long as you're doing something with it. I went straight through and feel like I'm the exception in my class rather than the norm.

I think most of the people that turned down USUHS/military didn't like the idea of committment or straying from their plans. Which is fair, no judgement. They always tell us you're equal parts physician and officer rather then "officer first" but that's just USUHS and big Navy doesn't always recognize this.

I do come from a Navy family and have absolutely loved my experience so far. The education quality is excellent, plenty of cool opportunities/globe trotting, and the money doesn't hurt. But it's definitely not too good to be true. Active duty docs will make 1/3-1/2 what they could make on the outside (I understand there is always debt/taxes to consider). You may get shafted to be a GMO or battalion surgeon. I am really interested in GI but it's looking like the DHA is going to all but cut those fellowships by the time I finish residency. Working with certain GS personnel will drain your soul.

When I was at second look someone actually asked something along the lines of your death question. They said doctors cost a lot, DOD isn't gonna put upwards of 300-500k and 7+ years in someone and not protect that investment.
 
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nckorfor

New Member
Jun 1, 2020
7
1
26
  1. Pre-Medical
Please do some searching/reading. Try Military Service Options For Every Step of the Aspiring Physician's Path - The Military Physician to get started.

-When I choose a service branch after residency, will I get what I ask for? (I am shooting for the Navy's Tropical Health Program or Space Force- would this be realistic?).
When applying to USUHS you rank which service you prefer. Most get their top choice. If your top choice of service branch is not available they ask if you are willing to accept your second or third choice. Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health only at this time. Residency is a whole other topic of discussion.

-Is there the opportunity to conduct research either during the 7 year service requirement or afterwards? Specifically I would like to conduct research on virology, epidemiology, or psychological resilience? How would this work out during the timeline?
Yes. You can do research if you would like but would plan to do it on your own time. There are research years during some residencies but this is highly variable.

-Why are there so few people who join USU/ what kind of people join USU? Is there high risk of death? Do many people just not desire the instability? Family life? I hope I will be surrounded by like-minded peers? Is it too good to be true?
There are only about 170 spots per year so it is competitive for those who want to go there. Most people who choose not to go to USUHS do so because of the 7 year commitment or they just aren't willing to accept a military lifestyle.

-How can we transition to practicing in the civilian sector afterwards e.g. as a surgeon or psychiatrist?
Look up skill atrophy as it relates to military medicine. It does exist. You can mitigate it some.

-I have yet to take the MCAT. If I take it this winter, would I be able to enter by the academic year of 2021? Is taking a gap year advisable?
See @lumya post aove.

-I have been an athlete all my life and hope to continue to push myself physically while being a medical student- what would a day in the life entail at USUHS?
Wake up, study. Work out whenever you want on your own time. Your branch of service will require you to pass their annual physical fitness tests. This is not negotiable. You can google the current requirements for each branch.

Thank you!
 
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