Sep 10, 2017
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I am currently enlisted in the United States Army, I've been in 4 years and my contract ends in June of 2019. Im still working on my associates degree and I plan on having it done by the time my contract ends, and using my GI bill to complete my Bachelors. Afterwards i am trying to get into medical school and become a surgeon.



I have a couple of options i can choose from but overall I'm still not 100% sure is the best route to take. One of my options is to get out of the Army once my contract is up, get my bachelors and apply to go to the uniformed services university. But I'm unsure that ill be able to get in being prior enlisted and being out for 2 years?



Another option would be to get out, get my bachelors and apply to medical schools and just take the debt that it will come with.

I've also thought about applying for the HPSP scholarship, but I'm unsure if once I'm out of the army and have completed my bachelors, if ill be able to apply for it.



Overall, I’m pretty much ready to get out and be done with the army but at the same time i don't want the excessive debt. I'm just unsure of how the process for USU and the scholarship works with prior enlisted. If anyone can help me out by giving me their best professional input, it would be greatly appreciated
 

Gastrapathy

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Prior enlisted is irrelevant (ok it's a decent extracurricular activity and you'd get paid as O1E at USUHS but that's it). What matters is getting As and a good MCAT. An associates degree has no value. The courses taken, however, will count towards your app GPA. So don't take any classes you aren't prepared to ace (grad requirements for an AA are utterly meaningless) and don't invest in "finishing" CC.

Get out when you can. Go to a good brick and mortar university and major in something you'll be good at. Avoid engineering unless you'd rather be an engineer. If you choose a non-science major, that fine (probably the right play) but it does decrease the sample of science classes. That makes the ones you do take all the more important. Take a MCAT prep class and realize that test is almost as important as your GPA.

Once you get into med school, you can decide if the .mil is for you again. They will be happy to have you. You may be able to get it paid for via voc rehab (which is a very good deal, search the forum about it). You can apply to USUHS too.

I, personally, would not recommend the .mil if you want to be a surgeon. Their busiest surgeons are still low volume. You don't want to be a low volume surgeon.

Good luck
 

Homunculus

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not much to add to @Gastrapathy 's post. the path is difficult enough and I would focus on getting in and worry about the .mil later when you will be holding all the cards and can join/not join with terms more favorable to you. along with the "go to a good school" advice I'd add the recommendation that sometimes large university systems (those schools you see on TV on Saturdays) may not always be the best bet. smaller class sizes and getting to know your professors well enough to get legit letters of rec I think can overcome the lack of "brand recognition."

some undergrad schools also have early entry programs where you can get a conditional acceptance as a freshman or sophomore and as long as you keep up your grades and score above a minimum on the MCAT you'll have a seat reserved for you. my small liberal arts school had a program in place with 2 well regarded (but not top 20 or whatever) medical schools. it's not a bad deal if your final goal is being a doctor and your heart isn't set on a particular school.

good luck and keep us posted

--your friendly neighborhood wrapping up yet another sick call caveman
 
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schmoob

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Great advice here.
I would also add that I encourage you to use TA to pay for as many general education classes as you can. It's a great deal. Max out every fiscal year until you get out.
Once you're ready to apply for med school, you can revisit your options and go from there.
 

maddeh87

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I went directly into the Air National Guard when I separated from active duty. In my state, tuition and fees are waived for guard members so I'll be able to complete my undergraduate degree for free, and save my GI bill for when I start medical school. I recommend joining the NG/ANG during undergrad; the health insurance is cheap and better than what you'd get at the VA, pays better than my part time job would, and it really helped with the transition from active duty to civilian.
 
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kristysmiles

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Mar 14, 2017
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I am currently enlisted in the United States Army, I've been in 4 years and my contract ends in June of 2019. Im still working on my associates degree and I plan on having it done by the time my contract ends, and using my GI bill to complete my Bachelors. Afterwards i am trying to get into medical school and become a surgeon.



I have a couple of options i can choose from but overall I'm still not 100% sure is the best route to take. One of my options is to get out of the Army once my contract is up, get my bachelors and apply to go to the uniformed services university. But I'm unsure that ill be able to get in being prior enlisted and being out for 2 years?



Another option would be to get out, get my bachelors and apply to medical schools and just take the debt that it will come with.

I've also thought about applying for the HPSP scholarship, but I'm unsure if once I'm out of the army and have completed my bachelors, if ill be able to apply for it.



Overall, I’m pretty much ready to get out and be done with the army but at the same time i don't want the excessive debt. I'm just unsure of how the process for USU and the scholarship works with prior enlisted. If anyone can help me out by giving me their best professional input, it would be greatly appreciated
Former Army enlisted here, current medical student. I used my TA to finish up as much as I could, you can do this on active duty or the Reserves. I qualified for VA disability, so I did my last year in the reserves without using my GI Bill. With the forever GI Bill, there's an opportunity to get an additional 9 months of STEM program funding, which will allow my GI Bill to cover the full cost of medical school. I personally wouldn't do HPSP, it's not worth the obligation. If you're interested in having more of an income/less loans without an extensive military obligation there's a reserve program called MDSSP. It's basically the same as HPSP, except they don't pay tuition (you still get a stipend), only have a reserve obligation, and DO NOT have to do a military residency.

From experience, unless you have a high GPA and MCAT score, the Uniformed Services University won't look twice at you. They are honestly my quickest denial, despite 8 years prior service. So don't bank on them accepting you.

Additionally, I moved to Fort Bragg when I separated from active duty. As a Reservist I was able to attend the pre-med military campus program at Campbell University that has actual labs and cadavers for $250 per credit hour. So your TA will cover most of your classes. TA will also cover medical prerequisites outside of a Bachelor's degree or a post-graduate certificate without meeting the 10 year TIS requirement. The classes are in the evenings (6pm-10pm), so you can still work a full-time job if you need to.
 

vitamorior

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kirstysmiles has got the right idea.
Use TA to finish your bachelors, or just try to get as many scholarships as you can if you don't want to go reserves/guard.
For Med School, though it can vary (id just email your admissions office) use your GI Bill and come out nearly debt free.
 

militaryPHYS

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Great info already posted. If you stay enlisted and are able to complete a bachelor's via TA or other sources then you could apply for the EMDP2 (enlisted to medical degree) program at USUHS. You need a bachelors, then they pay for you to complete the pre-recs to get in to medical school. They also help with MCAT prep. You can choose to go HPSP, USUHS, HSCP once you have the program completed.

If you are staying in anyway and don't mind more commitment its a pretty sweet deal from what I have heard
 
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