browneyes124

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:)Hey guys! Happy Sunday!
I'm going to be a junior in college this year. I am pre med majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and biology. ( double major). I took a lot of college classes in high school so I'm graduating a year early. It's kind of hard to explain but since the prerequisites for the MCAT changed and how I'm graduating early, I won't be finished with them till the semester I graduate so i will have to have a gap year.

I'm sure you know from my previous posts that I've considered joining the military ( navy or Air Force) for awhile now. Originally I was going to do it for medical school but I heard it's hard to get residency spots in the military. But idk I might still do it.

My question is if I take the MCAT summer of 2018 then go in for 4 years, would they still count ? I don't want to take the MCAT while I serve because I'm afraid the more time that goes by the more I'll forget stuff so I want to do it closest to graduation as possible. How much stuff do you think you'd forget beinh in for 4 years then going to medical school? Do you guys think it would be possible for me to join during my gap year then after that year be given kind of a deferment to go to a military medical school ? ( I doubt it but who knows)
Basically doing military before medical school, do you guys think it's a good idea or am I going to ruin things? The reason I was thinking about military for a while now is because of a lot of personal reasons but also because I don't think I want to just do straight school till I'm like 30.. By the time I graduate I'll have been in school for like 16 years straight and I'm not in a rush to do school for another 4-6 years straight. I think a change in things would be good for me. I really want to be a officer and not enlisted but the only medical stuff I know for military that aren't doctors and nurses are medics and I know that's an enlisted position. Any ideas of what I can do with my degrees when I join and what possible medical job options there would be?
Thanks!
PS. I tried to put in as much detail as possible but I was also in a rush typing so if you need clarification on anything just ask.
 

WernickeDO

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Sounds like you want to be a medical officer, so you may be better off being a PA. PA is a pretty sweet gig in the military...if you're good and earn the trust of your doc you can operate fairly independently. PAs tend to do more swoopy stuff than docs, usually because mil PAs are prior service. It's a lot less schooling too.

Your first decision is whether you want to be a doc or not. If you are absolutely not going to be satisfied unless you are a doc, and everything that comes with that, then being a PA will not cut it for you. If you want to be a doc, forget about the military for now, crush the MCAT, and get into school. You say you have personal reasons for wanting to join so I'm guessing that there is a family connection or desire to serve, so if still interested after the MCAT then look into HPSP and USUHS. Keep reading this forum for what life in the military is like. Do not delay the MCAT or schooling. I get that you are looking for a break but medical school does not get easier the further you are from undergrad or the older you get, trust me on that one.

If being a PA is more appealing, just look to get it done and then go into the mil if still interested. The mil can train you via the IPAP but you will usually need to do some time in before you get picked up for that. I believe you need the GRE for PA, but don't quote me. Good luck.
 
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Slevin

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The problem with being a PA in the army is the limited ability for advancement. The PA corps wasn't designed for a soldier to come in and spend 20 years as a PA. You'll get promoted to CPT but getting to major and above gets subsequently more difficult. I don't recall the promotion rates to major but full bird colonel there are less than 10 PA's in the army.

Ari force and navy might be different but I can't imagine promotion rates are more than 10% points different
 
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WernickeDO

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The problem with being a PA in the army is the limited ability for advancement. The PA corps wasn't designed for a soldier to come in and spend 20 years as a PA. You'll get promoted to CPT but getting to major and above gets subsequently more difficult. I don't recall the promotion rates to major but full bird colonel there are less than 10 PA's in the army.

Ari force and navy might be different but I can't imagine promotion rates are more than 10% points different
If OP wants to get promoted in the military then they should get into nursing. Plenty of promotion opportunity there.
 
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browneyes124

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Sounds like you want to be a medical officer, so you may be better off being a PA. PA is a pretty sweet gig in the military...if you're good and earn the trust of your doc you can operate fairly independently. PAs tend to do more swoopy stuff than docs, usually because mil PAs are prior service. It's a lot less schooling too.

Your first decision is whether you want to be a doc or not. If you are absolutely not going to be satisfied unless you are a doc, and everything that comes with that, then being a PA will not cut it for you. If you want to be a doc, forget about the military for now, crush the MCAT, and get into school. You say you have personal reasons for wanting to join so I'm guessing that there is a family connection or desire to serve, so if still interested after the MCAT then look into HPSP and USUHS. Keep reading this forum for what life in the military is like. Do not delay the MCAT or schooling. I get that you are looking for a break but medical school does not get easier the further you are from undergrad or the older you get, trust me on that one.

If being a PA is more appealing, just look to get it done and then go into the mil if still interested. The mil can train you via the IPAP but you will usually need to do some time in before you get picked up for that. I believe you need the GRE for PA, but don't quote me. Good luck.
I definietly do want to be a doctor. I have shadowed a few surgeons and their PAs and was not really satisfied with what the PAs did and couldn't see myself doing that forever. You don't think I could go after college into the military and go into medical school afterwards?
 
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browneyes124

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Do you think I could do a normal officer job in the navy or something for 4 years like maybe be able to do research for them since I have a lot of research experience and publications then get out and go straight into medical school?
 

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I definietly do want to be a doctor. I have shadowed a few surgeons and their PAs and was not really satisfied with what the PAs did and couldn't see myself doing that forever. You don't think I could go after college into the military and go into medical school afterwards?
Sure you could. It's just my opinion that you will have an easier time with medical school if you go in when you are younger and fresh out of college.
 

WernickeDO

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Do you think I could do a normal officer job in the navy or something for 4 years like maybe be able to do research for them since I have a lot of research experience and publications then get out and go straight into medical school?
If being a doctor is your goal, then why delay?
 

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Do you think I could do a normal officer job in the navy or something for 4 years like maybe be able to do research for them since I have a lot of research experience and publications then get out and go straight into medical school?
A bit of advice...absolutely do NOT talk to a Navy/Army/AF enlistment recruiter. You need to talk to an officer special programs recruiter. There is a difference. If you just talk to any run-of-the-mill recruiter, you will get screwed. Also if you get a commission for a few years before going back to med school, you're only prolonging the pain.

If being a doctor is what you want, you better just jump in and get it over with. Spend the year working on a masters or doing more research around your University. Go to med school if that's what your goal is. You can always do HPSP if you are dead set on a commission.
 
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browneyes124

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A bit of advice...absolutely do NOT talk to a Navy/Army/AF enlistment recruiter. You need to talk to an officer special programs recruiter. There is a difference. If you just talk to any run-of-the-mill recruiter, you will get screwed. Also if you get a commission for a few years before going back to med school, you're only prolonging the pain.

If being a doctor is what you want, you better just jump in and get it over with. Spend the year working on a masters or doing more research around your University. Go to med school if that's what your goal is. You can always do HPSP if you are dead set on a commission.
How do you find officer recruiters? It's just that since high school all my summers have been spent doing summer classes or research so I never have a break and my college I'm in now is very competitive pre med wise so you have to take a minimum of 16 credits a semesters which I'm use to but I'm just starting to burn out. My goal is to be a doctor but I'm worried if I do a masters or medical right after college then I'm just going to be more burnt out so I kind of want a break from it for a bit.
 
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browneyes124

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Sure you could. It's just my opinion that you will have an easier time with medical school if you go in when you are younger and fresh out of college.
On some of the forums here people have said your med school prerequisite only last for a certain amount of time. Do you know how long that is? I know MCAT scores are like 3 years
 
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On some of the forums here people have said your med school prerequisite only last for a certain amount of time. Do you know how long that is? I know MCAT scores are like 3 years
Medical school pre-reqs will last a long time. If you need it longer than a decade then you probably won't need them at that point.

And if you feel like you are burning out just throttle back a bit once you graduate. Do some humanitarian work or something meaningful like that for a year. Trust me, you only need a year to recharge. You join up you will take a 5 year detour from becoming a doctor and once you get out you will forget everything requiring you to retake classes and prepare for the MCAT again. This will end up with another 1-2 year delay.

Like everyone else is saying, if you want to become a doctor, don't join up until you have a medical school acceptance in hand.
 
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... I am pre med majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and biology. ( double major). ... so i will have to have a gap year.
Take the gap year you planned then apply to Med School. Go work a job you enjoy or enhance your application during this gap year.

... My question is if I take the MCAT summer of 2018 then go in for 4 years, would they still count ?
It would be expired at most schools.

... Do you guys think it would be possible for me to join during my gap year then after that year be given kind of a deferment to go to a military medical school ?
No, your contractual obligation as an officer would be at least 3 years active and more likely 4 years. The application process is long too.

... military before medical school, do you guys think it's a good idea or am I going to ruin things?
Bad idea.

... Any ideas of what I can do with my degrees when I join and what possible medical job options there would be?
BA/BS in Psych and Bio will not open up any medical options as an officer in the Air Force, Navy, or Army.

Work toward a good GPA, MCAT, and EC's. Graduate in 2018 as scheduled.
 
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I am pre med majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and biology. ( double major).
In addition to the advice you received above, I'll add that you should drop your double major. The fields are too similar and you'll end up wasting time in college that could be spent taking courses you find interesting/useful. That 400-level class on the different types of insects won't be nearly as useful as Spanish, financial accounting, or even modern dance.
 
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browneyes124

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In addition to the advice you received above, I'll add that you should drop your double major. The fields are too similar and you'll end up wasting time in college that could be spent taking courses you find interesting/useful. That 400-level class on the different types of insects won't be nearly as useful as Spanish, financial accounting, or even modern dance.
To do a biology major would only require 2 more classes for me science my behavioral neuroscience major has a built in bio minor and my pre med requirements cover the rest so I only have to take 2 additional classes so it wouldn't make sense for me not to do it and idk how modern dance will be helpful in medical school?
 

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To do a biology major would only require 2 more classes for me science my behavioral neuroscience major has a built in bio minor and my pre med requirements cover the rest so I only have to take 2 additional classes so it wouldn't make sense for me not to do it and idk how modern dance will be helpful in medical school?
You'll find modern dance to be helpful in many fields of medicine. Doing interpretive dances for my non-compliant diabetics has always been effective.
 
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browneyes124

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If I do medical school in the military but don't get the residency I want ( since military doesn't have a lot of speciality spots and only a few branches give like 2-3 deferments a year) can I just payback the time (4-5 years) then start residency afterwards? Are there any MAJOR cons to taking a break between medical school and residency ?
 

WernickeDO

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If I do medical school in the military but don't get the residency I want ( since military doesn't have a lot of speciality spots and only a few branches give like 2-3 deferments a year) can I just payback the time (4-5 years) then start residency afterwards? Are there any MAJOR cons to taking a break between medical school and residency ?
Keep reading this forum, you will find lots on info on GMO tours and what they are like. You absolutely can do your time and get out.
 
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Kingfisher

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... idk how modern dance will be helpful in medical school?
It won't help in med school but it will be invaluable to you on that rough ICU rotation. The attending starts asking crazy off the wall ventilator questions.... you better know how to dance with the best of them. :)
 
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If I do medical school in the military but don't get the residency I want ( since military doesn't have a lot of speciality spots and only a few branches give like 2-3 deferments a year) can I just payback the time (4-5 years) then start residency afterwards? Are there any MAJOR cons to taking a break between medical school and residency ?
I believe easiest if done through the Navy if one is planning on the GMO and out plan.
 
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I'm finishing up secondary med school apps now (so... many... secondaries...) but am a non-trad applicant, currently 7 years active duty (Army) service as an Engineer Officer, so I'll toss in my $0.01 (not really worth the full two). Bottom line: I would only recommend military service prior to medical school if you a) have other passions you need to explore that the military offers, b) want to get a feel for the military for a few years before committing to it in a medical context, c) your personal situation demands some base income or life experience prior to med school. But applying for med school alongside a 70 hr/wk job is no picnic.

I'm going to be a junior in college this year. I am pre med majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and biology. ( double major).
I'll echo what someone else said: I'd drop the double major and spend time on 1) research opportunities, 2) clinical volunteer work, or even 3) just some break time if you’re already feeling burned out. My shadowing time isn't weak, but my application has significant gaps in terms of research. It's certainly a discriminator that I didn't make myself fully aware of back in 2007. Not sure what your "baseball card" stats look like, but I wish I had paid it more mind.

My question is if I take the MCAT summer of 2018 then go in for 4 years, would they still count ? I don't want to take the MCAT while I serve because I'm afraid the more time that goes by the more I'll forget stuff so I want to do it closest to graduation as possible. How much stuff do you think you'd forget beinh in for 4 years then going to medical school?
Most schools only honor MCAT scores up to 3 years old. There are slight variations in how they calculate that; some are from test date to application date, some are test date to matriculation date, some are test year to matriculation year, etc. I graduated in 2009. I took the last "old" MCAT in Jan 2015, but I shelled out for a Kaplan prep course. Those science wheels were rusty, but I surprised myself with a repeat of my 2008 score, which was strong. That Jan 2015 MCAT score will be valid for most schools through a 2018 matriculation, although I'm trying for 2017 so I have a year buffer. All that said, holy CRAP is it harder to learn and retain new information now than it was when I was 20. Don't forget about showing a pattern of medical interest throughout that time. I spent nights, weekends, and leave days shadowing; be prepared to do the same to show ADCOMs that you're not just "changing your mind" after a few years.

Do you guys think it would be possible for me to join during my gap year then after that year be given kind of a deferment to go to a military medical school ? ( I doubt it but who knows)
I've heard of deferments for ROTC and military academy cadets to delay their military commitments to immediately attend med school, but I'm not aware of any who were afforded a gap year, nor have I met anyone who joined after undergrad then deferred. That would effectively be the same as attending USUHS or applying for HPSP anyway.

Basically doing military before medical school, do you guys think it's a good idea or am I going to ruin things? The reason I was thinking about military for a while now is because of a lot of personal reasons but also because I don't think I want to just do straight school till I'm like 30.. By the time I graduate I'll have been in school for like 16 years straight and I'm not in a rush to do school for another 4-6 years straight. I think a change in things would be good for me. I really want to be a officer and not enlisted but the only medical stuff I know for military that aren't doctors and nurses are medics and I know that's an enlisted position. Any ideas of what I can do with my degrees when I join and what possible medical job options there would be?
After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, some nights on end sleeping in my office even Stateside, some passionate yelling matches, some great friends, and some serious wake-up calls and introspection opportunities, I personally would do military service prior to applying to med school again. I shared your concerns about being "just" a student continuously for so long. That's me.

But! You need to keep a few things in mind. First, much like military GME/residency opportunities, you don't have complete control over any military career. That includes the job you get, the places, you go, and when you do those things. I got my 3rd choice branch, or "job". I'm not super familiar with Air Force officer positions relating to biology, neuro, or psych, but I have multiple friends who expected to use their degrees in their military positions, only to be sorely disappointed. Imagine having a criminal justice/forensics degree with minor in Arabic and being told "Congratulations, you're an Ordnance Officer because that's what we need! Enjoy counting, storing, and transporting stuff that goes boom!" Second, life happens, and the military can complicate it. I have quite a few friends who found themselves divorcees in their mid 20's because they married too early, their spouse didn't understand what they were getting into, or they rushed into marriage because they were trying to lock down a spouse before they had to PCS (move) again in a year. If your sibling is having a rough time and you're out of leave, you can always quit a civilian job, worst case; in the military, your unapproved absence will be met with the full legal force of UCMJ (military law). Third, the military at large is not a hyper-efficient war fighting scalpel. It is a massive bureaucratic sledgehammer that throws weight in general directions to get things done. They will screw up your pay for months. Your work priorities will be squashed to help your Command increase their suicide awareness training numbers. If you are 100% committed to your own proficiency at your job, the success and welfare of the people around you, and the moral right answer, best case you will be frustrated and sometimes have small victories to comfort you.

Here's this: if there is ONE thing you absolutely MUST do in your life to define success, what is that thing? Get after that. Take the scenic route if you'd like, and enjoy it, but go do THAT. Maybe it won't be what you expect, but at least you won't regret not getting around to it.

Steve
 
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browneyes124

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I'm finishing up secondary med school apps now (so... many... secondaries...) but am a non-trad applicant, currently 7 years active duty (Army) service as an Engineer Officer, so I'll toss in my $0.01 (not really worth the full two). Bottom line: I would only recommend military service prior to medical school if you a) have other passions you need to explore that the military offers, b) want to get a feel for the military for a few years before committing to it in a medical context, c) your personal situation demands some base income or life experience prior to med school. But applying for med school alongside a 70 hr/wk job is no picnic.



I'll echo what someone else said: I'd drop the double major and spend time on 1) research opportunities, 2) clinical volunteer work, or even 3) just some break time if you’re already feeling burned out. My shadowing time isn't weak, but my application has significant gaps in terms of research. It's certainly a discriminator that I didn't make myself fully aware of back in 2007. Not sure what your "baseball card" stats look like, but I wish I had paid it more mind.



Most schools only honor MCAT scores up to 3 years old. There are slight variations in how they calculate that; some are from test date to application date, some are test date to matriculation date, some are test year to matriculation year, etc. I graduated in 2009. I took the last "old" MCAT in Jan 2015, but I shelled out for a Kaplan prep course. Those science wheels were rusty, but I surprised myself with a repeat of my 2008 score, which was strong. That Jan 2015 MCAT score will be valid for most schools through a 2018 matriculation, although I'm trying for 2017 so I have a year buffer. All that said, holy CRAP is it harder to learn and retain new information now than it was when I was 20. Don't forget about showing a pattern of medical interest throughout that time. I spent nights, weekends, and leave days shadowing; be prepared to do the same to show ADCOMs that you're not just "changing your mind" after a few years.



I've heard of deferments for ROTC and military academy cadets to delay their military commitments to immediately attend med school, but I'm not aware of any who were afforded a gap year, nor have I met anyone who joined after undergrad then deferred. That would effectively be the same as attending USUHS or applying for HPSP anyway.



After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, some nights on end sleeping in my office even Stateside, some passionate yelling matches, some great friends, and some serious wake-up calls and introspection opportunities, I personally would do military service prior to applying to med school again. I shared your concerns about being "just" a student continuously for so long. That's me.

But! You need to keep a few things in mind. First, much like military GME/residency opportunities, you don't have complete control over any military career. That includes the job you get, the places, you go, and when you do those things. I got my 3rd choice branch, or "job". I'm not super familiar with Air Force officer positions relating to biology, neuro, or psych, but I have multiple friends who expected to use their degrees in their military positions, only to be sorely disappointed. Imagine having a criminal justice/forensics degree with minor in Arabic and being told "Congratulations, you're an Ordnance Officer because that's what we need! Enjoy counting, storing, and transporting stuff that goes boom!" Second, life happens, and the military can complicate it. I have quite a few friends who found themselves divorcees in their mid 20's because they married too early, their spouse didn't understand what they were getting into, or they rushed into marriage because they were trying to lock down a spouse before they had to PCS (move) again in a year. If your sibling is having a rough time and you're out of leave, you can always quit a civilian job, worst case; in the military, your unapproved absence will be met with the full legal force of UCMJ (military law). Third, the military at large is not a hyper-efficient war fighting scalpel. It is a massive bureaucratic sledgehammer that throws weight in general directions to get things done. They will screw up your pay for months. Your work priorities will be squashed to help your Command increase their suicide awareness training numbers. If you are 100% committed to your own proficiency at your job, the success and welfare of the people around you, and the moral right answer, best case you will be frustrated and sometimes have small victories to comfort you.

Here's this: if there is ONE thing you absolutely MUST do in your life to define success, what is that thing? Get after that. Take the scenic route if you'd like, and enjoy it, but go do THAT. Maybe it won't be what you expect, but at least you won't regret not getting around to it.

Steve
Thanks that was really good advice, especially the end. Guess I had never really thought about it that way. So if you could go back would you do military before medical school or do medical school while in the military ( hpsp, USUHS) ?
 

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:)Hey guys! Happy Sunday!
I'm going to be a junior in college this year. I am pre med majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and biology. ( double major). I took a lot of college classes in high school so I'm graduating a year early. It's kind of hard to explain but since the prerequisites for the MCAT changed and how I'm graduating early, I won't be finished with them till the semester I graduate so i will have to have a gap year.

I'm sure you know from my previous posts that I've considered joining the military ( navy or Air Force) for awhile now. Originally I was going to do it for medical school but I heard it's hard to get residency spots in the military. But idk I might still do it.

My question is if I take the MCAT summer of 2018 then go in for 4 years, would they still count ? I don't want to take the MCAT while I serve because I'm afraid the more time that goes by the more I'll forget stuff so I want to do it closest to graduation as possible. How much stuff do you think you'd forget beinh in for 4 years then going to medical school? Do you guys think it would be possible for me to join during my gap year then after that year be given kind of a deferment to go to a military medical school ? ( I doubt it but who knows)
Basically doing military before medical school, do you guys think it's a good idea or am I going to ruin things? The reason I was thinking about military for a while now is because of a lot of personal reasons but also because I don't think I want to just do straight school till I'm like 30.. By the time I graduate I'll have been in school for like 16 years straight and I'm not in a rush to do school for another 4-6 years straight. I think a change in things would be good for me. I really want to be a officer and not enlisted but the only medical stuff I know for military that aren't doctors and nurses are medics and I know that's an enlisted position. Any ideas of what I can do with my degrees when I join and what possible medical job options there would be?
Thanks!
PS. I tried to put in as much detail as possible but I was also in a rush typing so if you need clarification on anything just ask.
I'll disagree with many above (except Steve, who has some great points)

1) If you really want to have the military experience, I'd join the military and do a line billet first. As a physician, you may get to do some fun military stuff - but my impression is that it isn't really the same. I joined the military first as an officer, got to really do the "military thing" (deploy, shoot guns, lead some great dudes, etc) - and am very glad I did. I got real life experience, had a break from education, and ultimately am doing better in medicine than I would have going straight through. I was burned out after college - after a break, I knew why I was in school, was able to study, studied my butt off, and got a great residency. It worked out great for me. Also keep in mind though that by this point you may be in a different life position (married, possibly with kids) which has its own challenges but can work (and has for me)
2) Applying for med school after the military is harder. Your pre-reqs will likely still be "good" but you'll have to take (or re-take) the MCAT. I'll never forget trying to study for the MCAT while an RPG range was going on 500m from my hooch while overseas ... plus there are fewer resources for the application process... but it is possible. It is possible to transition straight from line to medical school - but you usually have to finish your initial commitment (4 years) and get released to do so which can be hard. You may have to take a gap year after getting out and before starting school. It worked out for me, but not for all.
3) You could always do your 4 years and then get out a do civilian medicine altogether - you'd have the option to bail.
4) Take as many non-medical courses as you can. I wish I'd taken some philosophy, more economics, a language.

Bottom line - if you want the military experience, do a "line" (non-medical) billet after college and then ap

Happy to answer any other questions.

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