xmsr3

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Having done some research about admittance stats I am starting to get really excited that I may actually make it into USUHS, (34S MCAT and 3.97 GPA).

So with some time to kill I started planning for a budget to make sure the $4500 you earn as an Ensign can cover living expenses.

I figure $1000/month for taxes, (which is 24% tax rate for someone making $30k annually, since taxes only apply to base pay)

$500 for food, $200 for clothes, uniform, laundering and toilettries, $200 for vacations, (fly coach, stay in hostels and eat at chinese buffets and you can vacation in Honolulu or San Fran) and $100 for tech budget, (buying a new lap top, ipod/iphone, camera, ect.)

This leaves $2500/month and just 2 major expenses left, housing and car.

Now I have checked Apartments.com and for $1000/month you can have a nice apartment in Rockville or Silver Lake, heck I even found one in Chevy Chase for $800 but google reviews has a lot of bad reviews.

But here is what I would like to know from those currently going to USUHS or those who have attended in the past.

Do you need a car?

I know that USUHS is attached to the National Naval Medical Center, which has its own metro station.

If your apartment in Rockville, (also on the red line and with a station at twin peaks) is within walking distance, or you take a bike to the station, then you can make it to USUHS without a car.

Of if you are in chevy chase then you can walk or bike without useing the metro at all.

The benefits of metro vs car are about $400/month.

For a car: $200/month finacing, insurance $150, gas $100, maintainance/repair savings, $50= $500

For Metro: From rockville, an 11 minute trip to the medical center station =$2.55 fare*2= $5.10/day= $25.50/week= $104/month.

The savings of $400/month seem substantial and as long as you have groceries, laundromat and a fitness center within walking distance of your apartment then a car isn't needed.

Regardless, with a car you end up with about $1,000 left over and without a car $1400 from the budget.

For the first 10 months I figure save an extra $500/month to create an emergency slush fund of $5k, to be used for any emergency costs.

Once that fund is in place invest the rest in small cap stocks.

So it turns out that USUHS students can indeed, live the high life if they choose to.

Or, if they are smart, (or at least single and unattached) they can manage to invest $72,000 over the four years they are students there and with any luck come out of med school with zero debt and a substantial nest egg underway.

From those who have gone to USUHS or are going now, do these numbers seem reasonable? And has anyone tried going carless? Is it feasible?

Monthly cost for a single person: $3000/month without car, $3500/month with car?
 

TheGoose

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are you kidding
 
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xmsr3

xmsr3

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No I am not kidding. I am confused how anyone could think I was.

Or perhaps I have misunderstood your response.

Where you saying, "are you kidding? Of course you need a car!" ?
 

BigNavyPedsGuy

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No I am not kidding. I am confused how anyone could think I was.

Or perhaps I have misunderstood your response.

Where you saying, "are you kidding? Of course you need a car!" ?
He's saying "are you kidding" because 1) you have a ridiculously detailed budget for something that is likely at least a year away 2) you decided to post it on an internet forum 3) this is one of the most ridiculous posts in the history of ridiculous posts.

Just ask "Do I need a car? If I lived close to a metro stop couldn't I save money and get by without one? Or is one necessary?"

That's how you ask a basic question. I can't believe I'm teaching you how to be normal . . . .

I'm actually angry that I read your whole post! I want my time back!
 

SirGecko

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xmsr3 I get that you are an excitable person but you really need to dial it back a notch. This is like the fifth thread that I have seen you post in where you came across as a little... off. Relax a little. You don't need to be making detailed budgets for a school that you haven't even interviewed at.

I don't want to sound mean here, I'm just trying to be helpful. One way that you might stop getting this kind of response is to type in paragraphs instead of lots of sentences with lines in between them. This stylistic change could help you organize your thoughts better so that you don't come across so... scattered. It'll also help you to see when maybe you could cut down to the core of your question. (as BigNavyPedsGuy said you can just ask "do I need a car or can I just rely on the metro". Anyone who is going to answer your question is going to at least be a little familiar with the area and doesn't need the detailed budget breakdown)

Now to answer the core of you question: I believe that most people have a car. If I recall correctly this question was brought up on my interview date and the general consensus was that you could get away with not having a car but it would be a big hassle. (and you don't want any big hassles that you can avoid) You really don't need to worry about this yet though.
 

sojourner75

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Do you need a car?
You don't need a car, though you may end up "wanting" one. Your budget looks great (to the extent that one can anticipate expenses, but what about the unknown UNKNOWNs); it is preliminary and as other posters mentioned, an overkill at this point. Certainly you can revise it AFTER USU acceptance and perhaps even after you have lived in Rockville for a few months. A time tested cost saver is to share a house with your classmates, though you may not get to live near Metro.
 

grotto

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Having done some research about admittance stats I am starting to get really excited that I may actually make it into USUHS, (34S MCAT and 3.97 GPA).
How do you manage to work your stats into every one of your posts?

Rather than worrying about a car and a budget, you should concern yourself with developing some humility. It might come in handy someday.
 
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xmsr3

xmsr3

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I apologize for the overexcitablity and percieved arrogance,(I am just worried about not getting in).

I swear I am not nearly as mad as I come off sometimes Its just the more I think about USUHS the more I want to go there. Its not just a free med school, its a whole career in an organization that shares my deepest values.

I have always believed that education was the most important thing for the prosperity of society and that people should be able focus exclusivley on maximizing their human capital. Now with USUHS and a career in Naval Medicine I have found the perfect match to my deepest values.

At USUHS you get immersed in a culture, that, though flawed, is at its heart about duty and honor. Everyone has their duty and in return for performing them the military takes care of its own.

Being paid $50K to attend medical school, now that I have worked out the preliminary budget, seems more than adequate. Heck its downright generous. Yes there is the payback period of 10 years, but I honestly believe that if you have the right attitude and try to make the most of any situation that a person will find it a richly rewarding experience.

You can meet people, go places and do things that no civilian could ever do. And at the end of 20 years you can retire on a nice pension and with a large savings you will have the financial freedom to go anywhere and do anything. And of course, you will have a lifetime of incredible experiences to share.
 

TheGoose

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what a tool. it's like beating a dead horse.

correction: sirgecko's English Composition 101 created paragraphs
 
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I've been reading a lot (probably too much) on the Military Medicine forum for some time now. I finally feel compelled to post here because this thread made my day, no joke. Thanks everyone!
 

BigNavyPedsGuy

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i apologize for the overexcitablity and percieved arrogance,(i am just worried about not getting in).

I swear i am not nearly as mad as i come off sometimes its just the more i think about usuhs the more i want to go there. Its not just a free med school, its a whole career in an organization that shares my deepest values.

I have always believed that education was the most important thing for the prosperity of society and that people should be able focus exclusivley on maximizing their human capital. Now with usuhs and a career in naval medicine i have found the perfect match to my deepest values.

At usuhs you get immersed in a culture, that, though flawed, is at its heart about duty and honor. Everyone has their duty and in return for performing them the military takes care of its own.

Being paid $50k to attend medical school, now that i have worked out the preliminary budget, seems more than adequate. Heck its downright generous. Yes there is the payback period of 10 years, but i honestly believe that if you have the right attitude and try to make the most of any situation that a person will find it a richly rewarding experience.

You can meet people, go places and do things that no civilian could ever do. And at the end of 20 years you can retire on a nice pension and with a large savings you will have the financial freedom to go anywhere and do anything. And of course, you will have a lifetime of incredible experiences to share.
shut up!
 

clanafanatic09

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I apologize for the overexcitablity and percieved arrogance,(I am just worried about not getting in).

I swear I am not nearly as mad as I come off sometimes Its just the more I think about USUHS the more I want to go there. Its not just a free med school, its a whole career in an organization that shares my deepest values.

I have always believed that education was the most important thing for the prosperity of society and that people should be able focus exclusivley on maximizing their human capital. Now with USUHS and a career in Naval Medicine I have found the perfect match to my deepest values.

At USUHS you get immersed in a culture, that, though flawed, is at its heart about duty and honor. Everyone has their duty and in return for performing them the military takes care of its own.

Being paid $50K to attend medical school, now that I have worked out the preliminary budget, seems more than adequate. Heck its downright generous. Yes there is the payback period of 10 years, but I honestly believe that if you have the right attitude and try to make the most of any situation that a person will find it a richly rewarding experience.

You can meet people, go places and do things that no civilian could ever do. And at the end of 20 years you can retire on a nice pension and with a large savings you will have the financial freedom to go anywhere and do anything. And of course, you will have a lifetime of incredible experiences to share.
Disregard
 
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Mirror Form

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To answer your question, it would be ill advised to not buy a car as a USUHS student for an enormous number of reasons:

-Med students are busy. Unless you can walk to USUHS you won't want to waste your time waiting for the bus/metro.
-girls aren't impressed by a bus pass
-you'll be doing rotations all over the place during your 3rd and 4th years. Most USUHS students drive to these places so that they'll have a car there.
-you have a normal paying job now, just buy a frickin car and don't be so cheap.
 

BigNavyPedsGuy

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xmsr, did you get your much anticipated acceptance letter? I'd guess by your new avatar that you did, but I never saw that ode to USUHS sonnet that I expected.
 
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xmsr3

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yes, I did get accepted to USUHS, no sonnets though. That would be a bit much:D
 

Nylesor

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Actually, since the government subsidizes the metro, it is actually free for gov't employees (including USUHS students) to use the metro. I'm a 4th year and live a mile from a metro and it's been useful to do some reading instead of sitting in traffic. However, the metro only starts at 5am, so good luck getting to your surgery rotation where you start pre-rounding at 5am. In the end, you will probably need a car by your 3rd year with the weird hours you may work and the various places you will rotate at which a somewhat limited metro system does not extend to.

P.S. $500 for food!? Shop at the commissary! :p

P.P.S. The station is called Twinbrook, not Twin Peaks.
 

mac61

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a career in Naval Medicine I have found the perfect match to my deepest values.
Funny how I've always heard sailors refer to medicine in the Navy as "Navy Medicine"; it didn't occur to me until reading this AWESOME post that there's a reason: The homonym is spectacular. Sadly, I don't remember any belly-button specific courses in the curriculum at USU. :D

Glad to see we're bringing in an errr..."enthusiastic" student body.

Welcome aboard. Edit: Errr...wait, looks like you got an Army slot. (Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, class of 2014, Army program) Now I'm confused.

Either way....welcome aboard.
 
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xmsr3

xmsr3

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Actually, since the government subsidizes the metro, it is actually free for gov't employees (including USUHS students) to use the metro. I'm a 4th year and live a mile from a metro and it's been useful to do some reading instead of sitting in traffic. However, the metro only starts at 5am, so good luck getting to your surgery rotation where you start pre-rounding at 5am. In the end, you will probably need a car by your 3rd year with the weird hours you may work and the various places you will rotate at which a somewhat limited metro system does not extend to.

P.S. $500 for food!? Shop at the commissary! :p

P.P.S. The station is called Twinbrook, not Twin Peaks.
So how exactly does one go about riding the metro for free? Do you show your military ID to the person inside the info desk or do you get some kind of super ticket, to run through the gate?

Regarding the commissary, the nearest one is on post at the NNMC, (or does one say "on base" since its the "National Navy Medical Center"?) correct? Just how good is it in terms of price and selection? Do most military personel use the commissary and exchanges or do they prefer to shop at Walmart and or some other grocery chain? And what kind of savings can one expect compared to shopping at Wal-Mart or the like?

Nylesor and Mac61 would you mind telling me how much you monthly food budget is? Can you really spend less than $500/month? And if so what exactly are you eating? Hopefully your not subsisting entirely on Ramman Noodles:D

Thanks everyone for the warm greeting, got my unconditional acceptance today so I'm very excited to have everything be official.
 

NavyFP

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So how exactly does one go about riding the metro for free? Do you show your military ID to the person inside the info desk or do you get some kind of super ticket, to run through the gate?.
You can get Metro cards to use Metro. If you get them, you are not supposed to drive and park on Bethesda. I don't think it works out to FREE, but it reduces the cost significantly.

Regarding the commissary, the nearest one is on post at the NNMC, (or does one say "on base" since its the "National Navy Medical Center"?) correct? Just how good is it in terms of price and selection? Do most military personel use the commissary and exchanges or do they prefer to shop at Walmart and or some other grocery chain? And what kind of savings can one expect compared to shopping at Wal-Mart or the like?.
1) It is National NAVAL Medical Center.
2) No commisary on the NNMC campus, you have to go to Forest Glen which is 3-4 miles away. They do have a small exchange, but I like Target better.



]
 

mac61

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1) Definitely National Naval Medical Center for another year or so. I was making a silly joke.
2). I feed a family of 5 for $600-800/mo.

Bottom line: You won't be poor, stop fretting. Get a car, enjoy life. Relax a little; you'll have plenty o' stress in about 8 mos.
 
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xmsr3

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Thanks everyone for the great info.
 

rotatores

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Thanks everyone for the great info.

Oh USUHS...why have you failed me! Congrats and good luck! Definitely need a car! I couldn't have imagined going there without one! Metro is great for going out and having fun...but not so great for a medical student! Plus...chances are...you would have a really hard time during your 3rd-4th years without one. Not sure if anyone in my class was able to go to NMCP/WRAMC for all of their rotations.
 

PharmD2MD

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Oh USUHS...why have you failed me! Congrats and good luck! Definitely need a car! I couldn't have imagined going there without one! Metro is great for going out and having fun...but not so great for a medical student! Plus...chances are...you would have a really hard time during your 3rd-4th years without one. Not sure if anyone in my class was able to go to NMCP/WRAMC for all of their rotations.
Quite true. You'll have things you need to do around town in even in your first and second years that require a vehicle. And, even if you do get all your rotations in town, the metro doesn't start until 5am- you'll need to be on the floors at that time for some of your surgery rotations.
 

NavyFP

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1) Definitely National Naval Medical Center for another year or so. I was making a silly joke.
2). I feed a family of 5 for $600-800/mo.

Bottom line: You won't be poor, stop fretting. Get a car, enjoy life. Relax a little; you'll have plenty o' stress in about 8 mos.
BNPG says we need a sarcasm font. I agree.