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

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austeremarine

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Hi, 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, 16-18 weeks of Specialty 68W (19 weeks for 68D) Training, 24 drills a year (approximately 1 whole weekend a month), mandatory 14 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. I would really appreciate any advice given.

Thanks in advance.
 
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echo87

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Edit 2 - I just skimmed this and didn't read the part where you mentioned your visa status. Sorry. This is beyond my competency. I know one guy that was on your position but he went to an international school. I would say this though, I would probably plan on not applying to schools until you have become naturalized. How would you pay for schools without loans? How could you possibly expect to succeed in med school while also having responsibilities to the military? Repeating years, like you've indicated is a possibility, would reflect poorly on you for residencies as well. Also as far as I know, EM is actually quite competitive and is only getting more so. Radiology I'm not so sure about but it has been in the past.
 
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Giovanotto

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OP, I considered doing this, but ultimately decided not to. I was not okay with the possibility of being deployed, among a few other things. I think matching as an international AMG is a better option.
 
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Giovanotto

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Hi, 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. I would really appreciate any advice given.

Thanks in advance.
@PistolPete
 

austeremarine

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Edit 2 - I just skimmed this and didn't read the part where you mentioned your visa status. Sorry. This is beyond my competency. I know one guy that was on your position but he went to an international school. I would say this though, I would probably plan on not applying to schools until you have become naturalized. How would you pay for schools without loans? How could you possibly expect to succeed in med school while also having responsibilities to the military? Repeating years, like you've indicated is a possibility, would reflect poorly on you for residencies as well. Also as far as I know, EM is actually quite competitive and is only getting more so. Radiology I'm not so sure about but it has been in the past.

Thank you @echo87 , I was desperate for advice from a perspective of medical school student and you are asking really good questions. It is clear that doing MAVNI during medical school would be a big mistake, unless I use it to become naturalized before applying to medical schools.
 

austeremarine

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OP, I considered doing this, but ultimately decided not to. I was not okay with the possibility of being deployed, among a few other things. I think matching as an international AMG is a better option.

I did read your thread about MAVNI, somehow I can't relocate the post at the moment, but I was wondering what were your decision. I think it is clear that going into AMG position is way safer than risking possibility of deployment, thus repeating years, and all other duties like annual training of two weeks a year.
 

echo87

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AMG is American Medical graduate. FMG is foreign medical graduate, and IMG is international medical graduate. FMG usually referships to American students who went outside of US/Canada for med school.

In any case, the problem you face OP, is that if you want to practice in the US, gaining citizenship or a green card sooner than later would be best. Getting into residency would be very hard, compounded by the fact that the program would have to obtain a visa for you. Getting licensure after a residency outside of the US would be even more difficult, because you would have to do another US residency. There exists one or two pathways involving years spent in an academic position or doing a few fellowships but I'm not too informed on these matters. Also one of these pathways may be closed now. In any case, the further along you get from med school, the harder it gets to end up back here.

So, if it is actually your desire to end up practicing medicine in the US, the route with highest probability is obtaining green card or citizenship before applying and getting into US medical schools.
 
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Giovanotto

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AMG is American Medical graduate. FMG is foreign medical graduate, and IMG is international medical graduate. The former usually referred American stidents who went outside of US/Canada.

In any case, the problem you face OP, is that if you want to practice in the US, gaining citizenship or residency sooner than later would be best. Getting a residency would be very hard, compounded by the fact that the program would have to obtain a visa for you. Getting licensure after a residency outside of the US would be even more difficult, because you would have to do another US residency. There exists one or two pathways involving years spent in an academic position or doing a few fellowships but I'm not too informed on these matters. Also one of these pathways may be closed now. In any case, the further along you get from med school, the harder it gets to end up back here.

So, if it is actually your desire to end up practicing medicine in the US, the route with highest probability is obtaining green card or citizenship before applying and getting into US medical schools.
dude, wut? Review your post, damn.
 
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echo87

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dude, wut? Review your post, damn.

Besides a few errors as a result of phone typing, I don't understand what you're confused about. Try being specific. Btw, international amg doesn't make sense.
 

Giovanotto

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Besides a few errors as a result of phone typing, I don't understand what you're confused about. Try being specific. Btw, international amg doesn't make sense.
I've bolded some of it for you. There are a lot of spacial/time incongruities in your writing that makes it very difficult to understand. I don't think OP has mentioned anything about practicing or training abroad as well.

Also, international AMG afaik = AMG who is an international student. Maybe I'm wrong or more likely, it doesn't matter since PDs don't label potential candidates in such a way anyway.

AAAAAAHHHHH, are you using residency to mean place of living and not residency training? Maybe that's why I am so confused by your post.
 

echo87

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I've bolded some of it for you. There are a lot of spacial/time incongruities in your writing that makes it very difficult to understand. I don't think OP has mentioned anything about practicing or training abroad as well.

Also, international AMG afaik = AMG who is an international student. Maybe I'm wrong or more likely, it doesn't matter since PDs don't label potential candidates in such a way anyway.

AAAAAAHHHHH, are you using residency to mean place of living and not residency training? Maybe that's why I am so confused by your post.

Yea there were a bunch of places where I used residency in place of "permanent residency" (a green card) and then just as a medical residency, so I fixed that up.

And now I see what you mean by international AMG. I'm not well versed in immigration law, but OP would need a visa that either extends through the entirety of med school and residency or require school and/or residency to obtain one for him, which nobody wants to do. I'm sure you're aware how hard it is for people who go to the caribbean to get residencies, now add on the fact that these programs have to go through the trouble of getting you a visa and you can see how unlikely that is.

And even then, what will he do afterwards? Go back to his home country to practice? Why go through all that hassle in the first place when it would have been exponentially easier to go to school and residency in that home country? I can only assume he wants to go to school here to practice and live here.
 

austeremarine

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I went to my recruiter today and he told me about a program called Education Career Stabilizing (ECS) program, which would allow army reserve soldiers to continue education without being deployed up to four years. I don’t mean to be disrespectful or say it’s not a rewarding job, but either way (ECS or HPSP) would mean ending up going to military residency route, which I don't think I would be interested in too much.. it's just not what I dream of doing as a physician, based on a prior military experience in my home country and other experiences as a civilian.
 
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austeremarine

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AMG is American Medical graduate. FMG is foreign medical graduate, and IMG is international medical graduate. FMG usually referships to American students who went outside of US/Canada for med school.

In any case, the problem you face OP, is that if you want to practice in the US, gaining citizenship or a green card sooner than later would be best. Getting into residency would be very hard, compounded by the fact that the program would have to obtain a visa for you. Getting licensure after a residency outside of the US would be even more difficult, because you would have to do another US residency. There exists one or two pathways involving years spent in an academic position or doing a few fellowships but I'm not too informed on these matters. Also one of these pathways may be closed now. In any case, the further along you get from med school, the harder it gets to end up back here.

So, if it is actually your desire to end up practicing medicine in the US, the route with highest probability is obtaining green card or citizenship before applying and getting into US medical schools.

Thank you for clarifying. I wouldn’t even think of going FMG route :) Like you said, it would only decrease my chance to get into a residency program after medical school, considering my status (non-immigrant=F-1=international student) in US. I’ve been living in the states for the past 10 years, with a US 4-years university degree in upcoming May, but I don’t have any option to apply Permanent Resident (PR or green card) and become naturalized other than via MAVNI program. Thus I am seriously contemplating with my two options I will describe below; my ultimate goal is to practice medicine in the US.
 
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austeremarine

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Thank you all so much for replying. It looks like MAVNI Reserve program wouldn't fit during the medical school and do more harm than benefit.. which means it would only be beneficial if it's "used*" to become naturalized before the medical school, which in my case then leaves me two options I believe:

Option 1 do MAVNI active duty for 4 years in medical related MOS (doing 6 years of MAVNI reserve before applying just doesn't seem reasonable) and apply medical schools during last year of duty with a citizenship.

Option 2 forget the MAVNI and attend medical school to become an "international" AMG and be matched to a residency program that sponsor H-1B or J-1 visa, which I believe is limited as well.

Initially, I thought the first option wouldn’t sound so bad, given that I get more leadership and clinical experience, especially in 68W (Medical Specialist) or 68D (Operating Room Specialist), until I read this thread..

(*NOTE: the term "use" here is used only because my primary goal is to become a civilian physician. I have nothing but full respect for people who serve their country. I would be grateful to be in US military if my dream wasn't to become a civilian physician.)

This I think leaves "Option 2" my only option.. I would again truly appreciate any reassurance or further advice.
 
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jonb12997

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If you want to go to medical school do NOT enlist in the military. That's as simple as i can state it.


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cassis_Cake

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Sigh... I remember a friend who joined the army to get his citizenship, boy did they screw him over... They literally put his life up in limbo for the entire duration of his contract. I would highly recommend finding other alternatives besides the army. Also, as stated above, don't trust those recruiters!
 

TRIPNOMORE

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Current Army Reservist here.

I highly suggest you DO NOT enlist if you are planning to apply to medical school in the near future.

Signing a contract means the ARMY basically owns you for whatever years you signed up for. The Army says you show up, then you show up or get an Article 15 or UCMJ, meaning the military's version of judicial punishment.

I applied to medical school during the last six months of my contract and I was still subject to schedule my life around my monthly drills. Once you finish Basic/AIT you are ready to deploy in the eyes of the Army. Army's needs comes before your wants.

Oh and the "1 weekend a month" is a guideline, not a standard. During my undergrad years, most of my "1 weekends" were in fact from Thursday to Sunday night. It all depends on the tempo of your unit.

MAVNI doesn't guarantee your citizenship within the year either, most of my friends got their citizenship about a year after they signed the paperwork and placed into a unit.

BTW my recruiter told me I was unlikely to deploy as well... He was wrong... Twice....

PM if you need more clarification.
 
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