Army Is doing a MAVNI progarm during medical school a good idea in long term?

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I am a fourth year pre-med student currently applying to DO medical school this year. My GPA is not superb (3.65) but I did a lot of EC activities (more than 500 hours of clinical experience, > 100 hrs of shadowing, drug discovery lab research presentation at conference, disability study publication, etc).

Last semester, I came to know the expedited US citizenship program called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, and I'm currently in process one step away from signing enlistment contract to Army Reserve ( a physical exam and signing the contract next couple weeks or so). According to my recruiter and research, I will be naturalized in an exchange of 5 weeks of Basic Training, 8 weeks of Specialty 68W (10 weeks for 68D) Training, 24 drills a year (approximately 1 whole weekend a month), mandatory 6 days of annual training plus possibility of deployment(s) ranging from 6 months to 1 year. My recruiter told me deployment is very unlikely, which got me hooked in the program at the first place, but my further research has revealed that it IS likely to be deployed at least once or twice during 6 years of service. This put me in a very uncomfortable situation because neither sources, recruiter and internet, are reliable...to make such important decision that will have a significant impact on my path to become a physician, and I'm looking for someone who went through the medical school with F-1 visa status and matched with a residency program in US.

Will gaining US citizenship overcome the downsides of spending one whole weekend every month throughout the medical school and possible repeat(s) of school a year or two, and be worthwhile when it comes to getting into a residency program? I'm not particularly looking for any competitive specialty (e.g. radiology or general surgery), but very interested in Emergency Medicine. Currently leaning towards withdrawing my MAVNI process because this bet looks too risky for me...

I know this is very wordy question, but I thought I would post this question because I believe this would apply to many other pre-med students out there around the country, and benefit SDN discussion diversity. If this is a redundant, please forgive me and kindly direct me to a correct forum. I would really appreciate any advice given.
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you will almost absolutely get deployed during a full term as a 68w.....

don't join the army reserves as a resume boost for residency


I'm a doctor!!
15+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2003
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I feel like this has already been discussed but I'll say it again. Do not enlist into the military if you want to go to med school. Want to spend 4-6 years enlisted in the military and then go back to med school, different story. You will not be able to be an enlisted military medic and go to med school at the same time.

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Aug 5, 2011
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naturalized in an exchange of 5 weeks of Basic Training, 8 weeks of Specialty 68W (10 weeks for 68D) Training, 24 drills a year (approximately 1 whole weekend a month), mandatory 6 days of annual training plus possibility of deployment(s) ranging from 6 months to 1 year. My recruiter told me deployment is very unlikely.

Basic training is 10 weeks, expect to be there for 11-12 weeks (not 5 weeks)
68W AIT is something like 16-20 weeks, expect to be there for 1-4 weeks longer (not 8 weeks). If you are already have your NREMT then it would be 8-10 weeks.
Reserve annual training will most likely be 2 weeks (not 6 days)
Expect to be deployed - thats the only reason for the army reserve is to be ready to deploy when needed (don't believe recruiters)

Sounds like you are applying to med school now with interviews in the fall and a planned start time in 2017. It would be a very tight timeline to get all your initial entry training completed over the next year and still be available to interview at programs this fall. Actually it is probably impossible. The initial entry training for a 68W is about 7-8 months of active duty before you will get back home (I.E. your training could take from early October to late May). That means, you would miss interview seasons and have to push back your planned medical school start until 2018. Also remember 68W's have annual sustainment training that is mandatory for about 1 week. And the 2 weeks of reserve annual training will almost certainly interfere with medical school (although you can try to get out of this). They will also want to send you to an NCO course within 2-3 years.

As already stated, going through medical school as an enlisted soldier is not the best idea, however once you're accepted into medical school you can apply to be an officer through MDSSP, HPSP, etc. If you do decide to apply, just expect a lot of frustration and headache compared to your civilian friends going through med school. In the end, it may be worth it to get your citizenship. It will just take 1-2 years longer for you to get through medical school than you think.


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May 19, 2015
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I agree. If you get accepted into Med School now and you enlist into the Army Reserve your career will be put on hold. Go through Med School get accepted into Residency and in your last year of Residency apply for the MAVNI program then. Some specialties require you to be Board Eligible and others want you to be Board Certified. I hope this helps your decision.


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Jun 14, 2016
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The risk of deployment is always there. I understand you want to become a doctor and match into a good residency program in the US, but if you are not legitimately passionate about serving the USA and her interests, do not expect the benefits that come with enlistment. You cannot get a free US citizenship and be worried about deployment. That is what you signed up for. The statistics about deployment rates that you are currently studying by the way, will be of little use to you as there are too many variables that come into play with regards to deployment rates. Simply put, when America needs you, you have to go.
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