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e_rae15

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Hello everybody!

I am so glad I came across this message board! I am a premed student considering joining the ROTC program next fall. My school offers the AF and Army ROTC programs and I have talked to both recruiters. I was wondering if you guys think accepting an ROTC scholarship is a good idea....... or should I wait until later and apply for an HPSP scholarship? Do you have any advice as to which ROTC program I should join (AF or Army)? I am very interested in general surgery and would appreciate any guidance you all might offer!!! Thank you.

Jessica
 

Homunculus

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I did the ROTC + HPSP route, and unless you are almost 100% sure you will get into medschool your first shot, I wouldn't advise it. An even better option if you really want to do the ROTC thing would be an early decision program that accepts you after your freshman or sophomore year. After that you can take the ROTC scholarship knowing you already have a seat reserved for you and have minimal student loans to pay off.

I went through the traditional route and the waiting for an acceptance letter so i could get my educational delay was excruciating. in fact, i had already been assigned my branch (med service corps) OBC class, and follow on duty station.

the upside is that once you have an ROTC scholarship and an acceptance, HPSP is a virtual lock. however, you can't switch branches between ROTC and HPSP (ie, can't do air force ROTC and army HPSP). for this reason, if you do the ROTC thing I would choose Army, mainly because they have the largest GME system and no GMO's
 
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If you're pretty sure you want to go to medical school, DON'T ACCEPT AN ROTC SCHOLARSHIP! The reason is that many people don't get into med school in the first time they apply. Many of my friends in medical school who had outstanding MCAT's and great grades in undergrad, just had bad interviews, or got unlucky, etc. So, they got negged the first time around. It was no problem for them b/c they could just do research for a year, and apply the next year and have a much better chance of getting in (applying a second time helps a lot). You won't have the freedom to do that when you're in the military.

I was lucky enough to get into my state medical school on my first try. If I hadn't, I'd be in Iraq right now and wouldn't be able to apply to medical school again for years to come. I'm not sure if I would have even applied again at that point. It makes much more sense to just do HPSP!
 

Homunculus

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Originally posted by Sledge2005
If you're pretty sure you want to go to medical school, DON'T ACCEPT AN ROTC SCHOLARSHIP! The reason is that many people don't get into med school in the first time they apply. Many of my friends in medical school who had outstanding MCAT's and great grades in undergrad, just had bad interviews, or got unlucky, etc. So, they got negged the first time around. It was no problem for them b/c they could just do research for a year, and apply the next year and have a much better chance of getting in (applying a second time helps a lot). You won't have the freedom to do that when you're in the military.

I was lucky enough to get into my state medical school on my first try. If I hadn't, I'd be in Iraq right now and wouldn't be able to apply to medical school again for years to come. I'm not sure if I would have even applied again at that point. It makes much more sense to just do HPSP!

so you rolled the dice and won too, eh? talk about making an already stressful situation worse, lol. my first duty station was Fort Hood, with one of the mechanized units there. so i'd be in Iraq too if i didn't get an acceptance. :)

gratz to us :cool:

honestly though, look into the early decision programs. you can get in, and still have half or more of your school paid for if you really want to do the ROTC thing.

and yes, do militarymd a favor and read the first sticky-- you'll make him feel better :D
 

e_rae15

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Thank you all for your input!

Does anybody know where I might find information regarding "early decision programs?" I'm not sure I know exactly what they entail.
 

Homunculus

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Originally posted by e_rae15
Thank you all for your input!

Does anybody know where I might find information regarding "early decision programs?" I'm not sure I know exactly what they entail.

talk to your pre-med advisor. they will have a list of medschools that participate with your school. if you haven't enrolled yet, it is definitely something to ask about before you decide if a school is right for you.

the early decision programs run pretty much like this: You sign up for a certain pre-set schedule and maintain a certain GPA, all the while building up your CV. After your first or second year you interview along with other people participating in the program at the medical school. if you're accepted, you must maintain a certain GPA, take the MCAT (and get a reasonable score, i'm sure) and you're in. The caveat to these programs is that if you cannot apply to any other medical school or they'll revoke your seat. It's really not a bad deal, as it eliminates a lot of the stress involved with the typical senior year application process. Be warned though, these programs are very competitive and draw gunners to them like moths to a flame.
 

e_rae15

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Thanks again everyone for your help.

I am near Nellis AFB, and am very interested in shadowing an AF doc. Does the AF allow students to shadow for a day or a couple times a month? I would love to see what an average day entails, and would love to shadow a flight surgeon! If you have any suggestions for things I should see/do while I'm visiting the base I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Jess:)
 
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