Aug 15, 2016
1
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Status
Pre-Medical
I am entering my second year in aerospace engineering at a primarily technical/engineering university. I am also entering my second year of ROTC. I have decided to change my major and follow the pre-med route. Is it worth it to stay in ROTC? I am torn because I enjoy the program, but I am aware of how big of a time commitment it is. I also do not know much about the Air Force's regulations on paying for med school or deferring your commitment while you go to med school. Any advice or information would be much appreciated.
 

colbgw02

Delightfully Tacky
10+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2004
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By the guy with the thing at the place
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Attending Physician
Former ROTCer here, albeit with the Army, and you should drop ROTC if your goal is to go straight to medical school after college.

I'm not entirely sure how the Air Force handles this, but you can rest assured that they will have a say in whether you get to go to medical school. Best case scenario is that they give you an educational delay, which frees you to attend and pay for medical school how you see fit. Worst case scenario is that you have a medical school acceptance in hand and the Air Force doesn't let you go. A "middle" route might be that you get to go, but they require you to accept HPSP, thereby doubling your obligation. Free yourself from the whims of DoD bureaucracy; getting into med school is hard enough without all that.

Besides that, you're right - the time commitment to ROTC can be considerable, but it gets you in sneaky ways too. My ROTC lab and course were only offered once a week, and they come in several hours chunks. Those become big black holes in your calendar when you're trying to schedule other classes. My GPA suffered because I had to take difficult professors and/or courses I didn't find interesting just because they fit around my ROTC commitments. Haggling with my cadre when it came time to scheduling interviews was fun too.

If you still have the itch to serve, then HPSP will be there. In the medical corps, beginning from the first day of intern orientation to the day you separate/retire, precisely no one will care one iota that you did ROTC.
 

vitamorior

2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2016
27
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Non-Student
In the medical corps, beginning from the first day of intern orientation to the day you separate/retire, precisely no one will care one iota that you did ROTC.
Well said.

Also I agree that if you do want to pursue medicine right now is one of your last changing points before you've spent a lot of time in aerospace.
ROTC takes up a plethora of time however if you are interested in medicine within the military that is a totally different subject that you can look all over these forums to see what people think.
As said by colbgw02 HPSP will help you out. Personally I would rather practice medicine in the civilian world, but to each his own.