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Air Force Unmatched US citizen med grad enlisting

Joltheadq

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Jan 25, 2019
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Is it too late to enlist as an officer? The prejudice is desperation to match into a residency, and I’m sure a recruiter will be blinded by this intent. But I don’t know if they will retroactively absorb debt to create time to owe. With all that’s going on in the world, military enlistment is looking like a more sound decision every day.

But even enlisting as a non-physician could be an option if I knew more. Airforce has my highest priority. Would it be worth my time to talk to a recruiter. BTW, I expect to pass my COMLEX L3 before the fall.


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Helpful Troll

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Feb 22, 2016
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Is it too late to enlist as an officer? The prejudice is desperation to match into a residency, and I’m sure a recruiter will be blinded by this intent. But I don’t know if they will retroactively absorb debt to create time to owe. With all that’s going on in the world, military enlistment is looking like a more sound decision every day.

But even enlisting as a non-physician could be an option if I knew more. Airforce has my highest priority. Would it be worth my time to talk to a recruiter. BTW, I expect to pass my COMLEX L3 before the fall.


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You won't be able to commission into any active duty (AD) military service as a physician until you have an unrestricted license. You'll have to complete that first year residency outside the military first. No such thing a retroactively absorbing debt either - student loan repayment might be an option but you can't get onto AD as a physician without an unrestricted license.

If you are able to come in as an AD officer without a medical license (based on Bachelors Degree) you would have to apply to the AF version of OCS and be assigned a career field other than medical which would extend your time to becoming a licensed physician.

If you enlist you would be inserting even more time to becoming a licensed physician.

Go get a residency through the civilian channels - hopefully you are applying through the upcoming civilian match. This could be assisted financially (student loan repayment or stipend) with AF Reserves but a civilian residency is necessary first.
 
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numberwunn

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Mar 27, 2011
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I would not recommend joining in a non-medical role - afterwards you would be 4+ years out from medical school and I think that would be a big red flag for residencies. So if you plan to join in a non-clinical role (I presume as an officer - fyi the term "enlisting" is typically reserved for our enlisted servicemembers) I'd only recommend it if you were certain you did not want to ever practice medicine, or would be OK if that were the plan. If that's the plan, then joining and using PSLF to discharge your med school debt after 10 years could work but may still be a gamble.

I also recommend against folks joining up for money or to because they think they will be more likely to get residency - as chances are you could get very disappointed. Only join if you want to serve and are OK if things do not go according to plan. I've been very blessed to mostly get what I want when I want it, but that is fairly atypical. The military is more interested in "the needs of the service" than your desires.
 
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el mero mero

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Nov 28, 2010
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Your best option is to find a prelim med or surg year to get a year of training. Without it you can't complete level 3.

If you can complete level 3 and a year of training, most states will give you a license. this opens up a lot more doors... including joining the armed forces as a doc. in theory, you could also practice medicine with a license, but it modern times practicing without a residency is relegated to urgent care/maybe rural gp stuff.

hope that helps
 
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