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I personally think that if you go the military route to serve your country and wish to study medicine in the future, it makes kind of sense to go to a military med school (for one the intuition would be free). I knew a few military doctors that dropped out of the military once they graduated and they were all cool people and good at their job.

However, when I was a med student in my first or second year, a classmate had transferred to our school. He started out in a military medicine program and didn't like it too much. Imagine the same amount of content a normal med school sees in 4-5 months, but he saw it in about half that amount of time because he had to do solider activies like exercise, learn how to use weapons and to top it off, every few days had to stay up all night awake just standing in a hallway doing nothing to make sure no intruder (ha ha) would sneak into the base or something going to class the next day as if it were nothing.

If that is not your cup of tea (though perhaps US military med school might be different), you'll probably choose a civilian school accepting the cost (as in intuition) of going to one.

It would probably be advisable to get an undergrad degree from the military if you opt civilian med school later. Just because you served doesn't mean you can skip the pre-reqs!
 
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I am concerned with military medicine after reading their section of this forum. My question is would it be possible to retain the necessary information from your undergraduate days over a three year period, and then take the MCAT? I understand the MCAT would require more studying than the average, fresh out of college applicant, but would it be possible?
 

MirrorTodd

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I am concerned with military medicine after reading their section of this forum. My question is would it be possible to retain the necessary information from your undergraduate days over a three year period, and then take the MCAT? I understand the MCAT would require more studying than the average, fresh out of college applicant, but would it be possible?
You could do that as long as you learned the information the first time. The MCAT is the MCAT, which means you are going to study hard for it no matter how much you already knew in the past. I think it's best to just start fresh when you are studying for the MCAT and don't delude yourself into thinking that you learned everything already.
 

seelee

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I have two separate questions:

1. Military service. I am not necessarily talking about serving as a doctor in the military, but serving as a soldier then being discharged and living as a doctor. Has anyone had similar thoughts? Joining the Army/Marines after college then applying to [a civilian] medical school. Is it possible (being able to retain your knowledge of the pre-reqs and other important classes?) If I did this I would consider the 68W MOS (Combat Medic) where I would be dealing as a military EMT.

2. When choosing an undergraduate education, the most common advice is to pick the cheapest school where you are happy. If you are not 100% sure you want to be a doctor, is it still advisable to pick a cheaper institution where you may be less happy?
Are you wanting to be an officer or an enlisted man. If you just want to be a soldier then go after high school (then the military will pay for your school). If you want to be an officer then apply to the military medical school (there is only one) or to the HPSP where you can go to whatever medical school you want and they pay your way. Then you give them 4 years as an attending.
 
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Are you wanting to be an officer or an enlisted man. If you just want to be a soldier then go after high school (then the military will pay for your school). If you want to be an officer then apply to the military medical school (there is only one) or to the HPSP where you can go to whatever medical school you want and they pay your way. Then you give them 4 years as an attending.
The Military Medicine forums have led me to believe this is not what I want. The more logical choice seems to be enlisting (possibly ROTC?) after college and then attending a civilian medical school after discharge.
 

seelee

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The Military Medicine forums have led me to believe this is not what I want. The more logical choice seems to be enlisting (possibly ROTC?) after college and then attending a civilian medical school after discharge.
heck, you can do whatever you want just be prepared to do MCAT prep after you get out.

You do understand that you can attend any medical school you can get accepted to w/ the HPSP. The only difference in result between doing HPSP and doing ROTC is that w/ HPSP you WILL be working as a physician while w/ ROTC there are no guarantees.

The choice is yours, obviously. But if the end goal is to be a physician, then why delay it 4+ years by doing (unrelated) active duty between undergrad and med school?
 
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It is just the statements one finds in the Military forums. Some say that taking the HPSP was "the worst thing I will ever do in my life." I know their feelings could be opposite of mine if I chose this route, but it seems unlikely that I will. You're right, out of ROTC I would not be a practicing physician, but I would likely be a combat medic. Two different things. I would be the "EMT of the battlefield." I am not set on ROTC either, though. Enlisting for the minimum of three years would give me a chance to serve then go on with my life.

Right now it seems after discharge I will just be required to study even more than what is normal to get a decent score on the MCAT. I am fine with this.
 

seelee

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It is just the statements one finds in the Military forums. Some say that taking the HPSP was "the worst thing I will ever do in my life." I know their feelings could be opposite of mine if I chose this route, but it seems unlikely that I will. You're right, out of ROTC I would not be a practicing physician, but I would likely be a combat medic. Two different things. I would be the "EMT of the battlefield." I am not set on ROTC either, though. Enlisting for the minimum of three years would give me a chance to serve then go on with my life.

Right now it seems after discharge I will just be required to study even more than what is normal to get a decent score on the MCAT. I am fine with this.
I am sure there are a lot of people who say that HPSP was the worst thing they had ever done. A lot of people also say that about medicine in general (or any other job for that matter). And I know a lot more people who did not like the army than who liked it. Opinions are like buttholes after all...

Just a word of advice, pay little attention to other peoples opinions. Rather pay attention to the subjective facts as to why they formed those opinions. After all, the reason they hated HPSP or ROTC or whatever, may be the exact reason someone else liked it.

Good luck though.
 
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I am sure there are a lot of people who say that HPSP was the worst thing they had ever done. A lot of people also say that about medicine in general (or any other job for that matter). And I know a lot more people who did not like the army than who liked it. Opinions are like buttholes after all...

Just a word of advice, pay little attention to other peoples opinions. Rather pay attention to the subjective facts as to why they formed those opinions. After all, the reason they hated HPSP or ROTC or whatever, may be the exact reason someone else liked it.

Good luck though.
You're right. Some of the complaints I've read I simply don't understand. When you sign up for the military you are giving your rights to the government, yet they complain about deployments and stationing. But some I do. A lack of resources, a lack of cases (surgeons operating 1-2 a week) which leads to a lack of experience when moving into the civilian sector, etc.

It is not about liking the Army for me. It is about a desire to serve one's country. Cheesy? I don't think so. Freedom, after all, is not free.
 

seelee

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Yeah, anyone who goes into the military and then complains about being deployed is about as moronic as someone who goes into surgery and then complains about all the blood and dying and stuff.


I can understand the issues w/ not practicing as much but from what I have heard is that many jobs in the military is "hurry up and wait" kind of stuff. I think the big difference is that the guy who is the radar operator in the Navy isn't planning on being a radar operator when he gets out, so who cares if he gets a lot of experience. Not so w/ doctors. Definitely something to consider.

I don't think your reason is cheesy at all. A lot of people go into HPSP because they think it is a good deal financially (it's not), your reason is a good one.

One more thing to consider, and this is from an Air Force flight doc. The job of the military is to kill people and break things. You may think that your job (as a doctor/medic) is just to save lives. It is more than that. Your job is to facilitate the military's purpose (kill people and break things) by taking care of their most vital asset. You are directly facilitating the death machine in your job. If you want to go into the military. You need to be 100% comfortable and at terms with that fact.