Need some advice!!

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by guamboy, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. guamboy

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm new to the forum and I was hoping to get some advice on my situation.

    I'm a 1st attending UCSD. I am majoring in Electrical Engineering, but will be switching to either Human Biology or Physiology & Neuroscience. I currently have a AFROTC scholarship(Type 7 to be specific).

    I've always wanted to become a doctor(such a cliche, but true), but because of my family's persuasion to do Engineering I pursued it. Now I regret it and I'm gonna go against my father's wishes and do Biology and pursue a medical career.

    Thing is, the AFROTC scholarship is such a pain. It's too time consuming.
    Unfortunately, my family has financial issues and there's the other siblings, so paying for college is tough.
    Question:
    1. Is it worth it to quit ROTC and return the scholarship? I need a convincing reason to tell my dad why I don't want the scholarship anymore. I've already received a quarter's worth of money and I would just have to pay them back if i return it.
    If I quit, I don't know how we're going to pay for school. I don't mind getting loans if they're available.

    Please, for those of you who've been in a similar situation or has some knowledge in this, set me in the right direction.

    Sorry if what I wrote is sloppy, disorganized, or does not make sense. In a rush.

    Thanks for the time; I really appreciate it.:)
     
  2. DrMetal

    DrMetal To shred or not shred?
    Physician PhD Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    if go thru with ROTC, chances are that you'll end up as a line officer (in some warfighting capacity, or in direct support of), and you'll have to do this for 2-5 years after college. Then you can apply to med school.

    There is the possibility of going to med school straight after rotc (in other words, paying back your rotc commitment as a doc), but this is hard to do. the path is heavily competed for.

    so it really just depends on what you wanna do. if you wanna play warfighter for a few years after college (can be a rewarding/fun experience!), then stick with rotc. If you're dead set on going to med school right after college, then I'd advise quiting rotc and finding a way to pay for school on your own.

    I assume you're a CA resident? if that's the case, UC tuition is relatively cheap. There are a ton of loans out there, as well as grants/scholarships. Go to financial aid and see what you can muster up. I put myself through school this way! (Berkeley, '00)

    don't do anything for your parents' sake. its your life! either engineering or medicine are great fields. they should be proud either way.
     
  3. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    I did AROTC before going directly to medical school. I did not do HPSP. I was in a relatively unique situation whereby my undergraduate tuition was greater than that of my medical school. Therefore, going this route made more sense financially than doing HPSP alone.

    On the other hand, HPSP is infinitely less time-consuming than ROTC, and the skills you learn and are tested on in ROTC don't help you very much at all in the medical corps. In many respects, the time I spent as an ROTC cadet feels very much wasted.

    If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't have done either. If the burning desire to serve your country is still there after medical school there are other ways to join. Apart from that, I probably would have just done ROTC AND HPSP and committed myself to a career in military medicine.
     
  4. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending
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    If by 1st you mean a freshman, you don't have to payback anything. You can quit after the first year with no obligation.

    I'd seriously consider doing so, given your situation.
     
  5. guamboy

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    :eek:Wow...I had no clue. That makes me so much happier that I don't have to worry paying them back.:D:D
    Thanks guys for the advice!
     
  6. bustbones26

    bustbones26 Senior Member
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    First off, stop worrying about what your dad thinks. This is your life and you handle it. I know that is hard to do while in college since you have absolutely no financial foundation, but at the end of the day, its your life.

    I do understand your financial issues, and that is going to make this decision tough; however, if you take a military scholarship of any shape or form, you may not be happy in the end. What kind of doctor would you like to be? Keep in mind that if you do a primary care specialty, there are options other than the military.

    Lastly, just remember, you DON"T have to switch your major to biology to get into med school. Trust me, you can easily to an engineering discipline and get into med school.
     
  7. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending
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    very true, especially the point about the major.
     
  8. deegs

    deegs Member
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    I have a BS in mechanical engineering, as well as a masters in the same. I just matched into my specialty and location of choice, and in all my residency interviews (and med school ones, for that matter) the interviewers seemed very interested in my engineering background. I almost burst out laughing when one interviewer looked at this white male and commented that he thought it would be a good thing that I could add some "diversity" to his program.

    bio system controls is still within the field of EE, if thats what floats your boat. talk to your academic advisor. might help you keep the peace in your family. freshman bio and o-chem are likely going to be the only prereqs you'll need in addition to the engineering degree in order to get into med school.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Statistically, non-science majors have a higher acceptance rate than science majors. Or at least they did when I applied.

    Major just doesn't matter. Do something you're passionate about. It shows in your interviews and will show in your GPA.
     
  10. bustbones26

    bustbones26 Senior Member
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    I have a degree in chemical engineering. At my first medical school interview, they told me they wanted to make sure that I was not applying to medical school because it was easier than getting a PhD in engineering.
     

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