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That the military will pay for my university makes enlisting once I get my transfer credits tempting. However, if it's better to go into HPSP/FAP/NSCP after uni I can do that and find other means of paying for uni.

Which is the most efficient point to reap the full benefits of military admission?
 
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Though every word in your post is technically English, I have no idea what you are talking about. What is your goal in life? Are you trying to become a physician? Do you want to go to college and get a bachelors degree in something and then get a job? I really can't tell what you are getting at here. There are many routes to joining the military and many ways of paying for your education. Once you have told us more about yourself (e.g., how far along are you in your education) and what your goals are, then I think you can get a better response.
 
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Cooperd0g

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If your goal is to become a physician then enlisting is something that will only delay that goal. I can't fathom any way it will help speed up the process.
 
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"never" is the answer to your post topic.

If you really want to serve in the military, join after high school. Get that crap out of your system. Then, come back to the real world and finish your education.

There is nothing the military has to offer you that will make you a better scholar or clinician, so feed those two beasts separately. That's just my opinion, coming from someone who thought about enlisting during high school, but delayed until med school.
 
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Though every word in your post is technically English, I have no idea what you are talking about. What is your goal in life? Are you trying to become a physician? Do you want to go to college and get a bachelors degree in something and then get a job? I really can't tell what you are getting at here. There are many routes to joining the military and many ways of paying for your education. Once you have told us more about yourself (e.g., how far along are you in your education) and what your goals are, then I think you can get a better response.

I've only graduated high school. My plan is to get my 60 transfer credits at a local community college, transfer to a uni for my pre-med program, and then go into med school and further down the line become a cardiovascular surgeon. I've wanted to enlist for a long time, and knowing that they will help pay for my education makes it all but certain for me. I just want to know WHEN I should do it.


If your goal is to become a physician then enlisting is something that will only delay that goal. I can't fathom any way it will help speed up the process.

I don't care about how long it takes me to get in. Plus, wouldn't schools and scholarships love it if I were a hospital corpsman or battle medic?


"never" is the answer to your post topic.

If you really want to serve in the military, join after high school. Get that crap out of your system. Then, come back to the real world and finish your education.

There is nothing the military has to offer you that will make you a better scholar or clinician, so feed those two beasts separately. That's just my opinion, coming from someone who thought about enlisting during high school, but delayed until med school.

I didn't come here to be discouraged, I came here for answers.
 

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And I'm answering your question. In your own illiterate manner, you asked when the best time to join is. I answered. If you want encouragement, talk to your mommy. There are no answers to the question "when should I join," there are only opinions. If you want opinions, then expect that some of them will be different from your own. If you can't handle that, then neither medicine nor military life is right for you.

What you need to understand is that every 18 year old who posts on this forum wants to be a military cardiovascular surgeon, and an insignificant number of them follow through on even a portion of the requirements. So, needless to say most of these threads -and there are a lot of them- are taken with a grain of salt. If you're serious about it, then you need to seriously consider differing views to make sure you're doing what you want to do. Most high school grads think they know what they want to do until its actually time to do it.

You say that you don't care when you get in - to which I assume you're referring to medical school. That's because you haven't done enough research regarding what it takes to become a cardiovascular surgeon - let alone one in the military. You will care, at some point, how long it is taking to achieve your goal. Being 40 years old and in a CV fellowship is very, very different than doing it in your early-mid 30's.
I will assume, and perhaps I'm wrong, that you are also unaware that being a cardiovascular surgeon in the military usually means that you're not doing a lot of cardiovascular surgery - at least nowhere near the volume that your civilian counterparts will be doing. There's a reasonable chance that you'll be stationed somewhere that can't even support a CABG, which will require you to go to a civilian hospital to operate. On top of that, most of your patients will be in their 20's and 30's - ages when most people don't need a cardiovascular surgeon. If you're lucky, you'll end up someplace where the VA system occasionally throws you a bone. If you're not, then you'll be begging your command for ODE just to keep up your skills. There are CV surgeons in the military, and perhaps some of them have reasonable (not busy, but reasonable) practices, but they'll pale in comparison to most civilian surgeons. So when I suggest that you enlist, finish your commitment, and then go to med school - that's why. If you'd prefer not to hear that, then you're in the wrong forum.
 
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And I'm answering your question. In your own illiterate manner, you asked when the best time to join is. I answered. If you want encouragement, talk to your mommy. There are no answers to the question "when should I join," there are only opinions. If you want opinions, then expect that some of them will be different from your own. If you can't handle that, then neither medicine nor military life is right for you.

I'm going to ignore you needlessly patronizing me and putting words in my mouth, for the sake of civil discussion.

What you need to understand is that every 18 year old who posts on this forum wants to be a military cardiovascular surgeon, and an insignificant number of them follow through on even a portion of the requirements. So, needless to say most of these threads -and there are a lot of them- are taken with a grain of salt. If you're serious about it, then you need to seriously consider differing views to make sure you're doing what you want to do. Most high school grads think they know what they want to do until its actually time to do it.

You say that you don't care when you get in - to which I assume you're referring to medical school. That's because you haven't done enough research regarding what it takes to become a cardiovascular surgeon - let alone one in the military. You will care, at some point, how long it is taking to achieve your goal. Being 40 years old and in a CV fellowship is very, very different than doing it in your early-mid 30's.
I will assume, and perhaps I'm wrong, that you are also unaware that being a cardiovascular surgeon in the military usually means that you're not doing a lot of cardiovascular surgery - at least nowhere near the volume that your civilian counterparts will be doing. There's a reasonable chance that you'll be stationed somewhere that can't even support a CABG, which will require you to go to a civilian hospital to operate. On top of that, most of your patients will be in their 20's and 30's - ages when most people don't need a cardiovascular surgeon. If you're lucky, you'll end up someplace where the VA system occasionally throws you a bone. If you're not, then you'll be begging your command for ODE just to keep up your skills. There are CV surgeons in the military, and perhaps some of them have reasonable (not busy, but reasonable) practices, but they'll pale in comparison to most civilian surgeons. So when I suggest that you enlist, finish your commitment, and then go to med school - that's why. If you'd prefer not to hear that, then you're in the wrong forum.

I'm being misunderstood here. I don't want to a military surgeon, I want to be a civilian one. The schooling will be expensive, that I'm sure of, which is one of the reasons I would like to enlist. The only problem is, I know enlisting after I get my transfer credits will help me pay for university. But then will it help me pay for medical school, too? If it won't, would enlisting sabotage my chances of using any of the opportunities to have the military pay for medical school? Is there an all-around better benefit to waiting until I've finished university to enlist if I'm hoping to go into medical school? I'm not here because I've already subconsciously settled on a decision and want strangers on the internet to reassure me and hugbox me. Knowing I can't trust a recruiter, I'm resorting to using the resources available to me on the internet to educate myself and make the best decision for my life.
 

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You have a few options, which you've already pointed out.

You can enlist before "uni" or enlist/commission after and stick around until you qualify for a GI bill for medical school. I think it's a poor choice because you'll be in the military forever and delay your training significantly. The reason people recommend against that is that the later you start medical training, the harder it is. I was a non-traditional student, and I started late, so there's no criticism here in someone doing that. But the fact of the matter is that I would bet cash money that most people who delay going to medical school end up not going to medical school. Life has a way of keeping you from major, stressful, challenging commitments the older you get. That is especially true for someone who wants to do CT surgery.

You can do HPSP or USUHS. This is a poor choice if you want to be a civilian CT surgeon because you're going to owe something along the lines of: 6 years residency + 5 years ADSO + 2 years fellowship + 4 years ADSO = 17 years in the service after medical school (anyone that thinks that math is off, let me know). By the time you get out, your skills will be rusty, and if you're like most surgeons you'll be old enough to not have the gumption to do big cases. Also, there's a good chance that you'll finish your residency, and not be allowed to do a CT surgery fellowship. That is entirely up to the military.

You can do FAP. There's a whole threat on this: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/fap-read-before-signing-hpsp.189443/ The benefit is that you get to decide when you're done with training whether or not you really want to join the military. I think most people recommend FAP to anyone who isn't super gung-ho on joining the military. Your thoughts on service will likely change significantly between now and when you complete a residency. The down side is that you will be in the military for 4 or so years after you complete your training.

I would also state that if you don't want to be a military surgeon, the military is probably not going to be kind to you. The biggest mistake everyone makes is that the join for the financial benefits, and not because they really, really want to be in the military above all else. This is particularly true for surgeons, who as a resource are thrown to the wayside during their time in the military.

Might I ask, and this is not meant to be offensive in any way: what's your background? Are the financial benefits the only reason you're looking to join? An bullet line on a resume is not a good reason to join. You'll regret the crap out of it, and there are far better ways to impress schools and scholarship committees.
 
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68PGunner

I'm going to ignore you needlessly patronizing me and putting words in my mouth, for the sake of civil discussion.



I'm being misunderstood here. I don't want to a military surgeon, I want to be a civilian one. The schooling will be expensive, that I'm sure of, which is one of the reasons I would like to enlist. The only problem is, I know enlisting after I get my transfer credits will help me pay for university. But then will it help me pay for medical school, too? If it won't, would enlisting sabotage my chances of using any of the opportunities to have the military pay for medical school? Is there an all-around better benefit to waiting until I've finished university to enlist if I'm hoping to go into medical school? I'm not here because I've already subconsciously settled on a decision and want strangers on the internet to reassure me and hugbox me. Knowing I can't trust a recruiter, I'm resorting to using the resources available to me on the internet to educate myself and make the best decision for my life.

The military has a ton of benefits that will support your education goals. You will be paid full salary to be a desk jockey with nothing to do except going to school through tuition assistance. You will get at least a four day weekend once a month. Work is done at mostly 1500. The Army is easy. I'm in a medical field unit, and we don't do anything except spending 2 hours on Monday PMCSing vehicles. But the service is cutting down, so you need to listen to your recruiter to get your foot in the door. Don't listen to the naysayers here. The military is the only organization that pays you a full salary to do nothing while allowing you to go to school full time.

If you manage to get in as an enlisted soldier, you will love NTC or JRTC.
 
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You have a few options, which you've already pointed out.

You can enlist before "uni" or enlist/commission after and stick around until you qualify for a GI bill for medical school. I think it's a poor choice because you'll be in the military forever and delay your training significantly. The reason people recommend against that is that the later you start medical training, the harder it is. I was a non-traditional student, and I started late, so there's no criticism here in someone doing that. But the fact of the matter is that I would bet cash money that most people who delay going to medical school end up not going to medical school. Life has a way of keeping you from major, stressful, challenging commitments the older you get. That is especially true for someone who wants to do CT surgery.

I'm not exactly worried about ending up not pursuing medicine as a career. Four years of service isn't too long of a delay before going into medical school. I'm curious, though, why is it that you group enlisting before I go into university and enlisting/commissioning after as one choice? I'm sure there are pros and cons to each relative to my goal. I'm also curious if I can milk my GI Bill tuition for my university courses AND the medical school courses afterwards.


You can do HPSP or USUHS. This is a poor choice if you want to be a civilian CT surgeon because you're going to owe something along the lines of: 6 years residency + 5 years ADSO + 2 years fellowship + 4 years ADSO = 17 years in the service after medical school (anyone that thinks that math is off, let me know). By the time you get out, your skills will be rusty, and if you're like most surgeons you'll be old enough to not have the gumption to do big cases. Also, there's a good chance that you'll finish your residency, and not be allowed to do a CT surgery fellowship. That is entirely up to the military.

That... sounds like crud. What about NSCP?


You can do FAP. There's a whole threat on this: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/fap-read-before-signing-hpsp.189443/ The benefit is that you get to decide when you're done with training whether or not you really want to join the military. I think most people recommend FAP to anyone who isn't super gung-ho on joining the military. Your thoughts on service will likely change significantly between now and when you complete a residency. The down side is that you will be in the military for 4 or so years after you complete your training.

FAP does sound pretty good.


I would also state that if you don't want to be a military surgeon, the military is probably not going to be kind to you. The biggest mistake everyone makes is that the join for the financial benefits, and not because they really, really want to be in the military above all else. This is particularly true for surgeons, who as a resource are thrown to the wayside during their time in the military.

Might I ask, and this is not meant to be offensive in any way: what's your background? Are the financial benefits the only reason you're looking to join? An bullet line on a resume is not a good reason to join. You'll regret the crap out of it, and there are far better ways to impress schools and scholarship committees.

There is military history in my family, and I've always loved chances to test myself in hostile, sink-or-swim environments. I'm a big boy who can take it.
 

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I'm going to ignore you needlessly patronizing me and putting words in my mouth, for the sake of civil discussion.



I'm being misunderstood here. I don't want to a military surgeon, I want to be a civilian one. The schooling will be expensive, that I'm sure of, which is one of the reasons I would like to enlist. The only problem is, I know enlisting after I get my transfer credits will help me pay for university. But then will it help me pay for medical school, too? If it won't, would enlisting sabotage my chances of using any of the opportunities to have the military pay for medical school? Is there an all-around better benefit to waiting until I've finished university to enlist if I'm hoping to go into medical school? I'm not here because I've already subconsciously settled on a decision and want strangers on the internet to reassure me and hugbox me. Knowing I can't trust a recruiter, I'm resorting to using the resources available to me on the internet to educate myself and make the best decision for my life.

Alright. I'll do my best to answer your question. These folks aren't patronizing you, but (if I'm reading their posts correctly) may come off that way to you because you're making some fundamental mistakes in how you view the military's role in your education. That's not intended to be an insult; I want you to understand the perspective of the people trying to give you good advice. Now, so you understand my perspective: I'm a medical student. The service paid for my undergraduate degree (federal service academy), I served on active duty as an officer for a time, then took HPSP to go to medical school.

First, this is a problem: "I'm being misunderstood here. I don't want to a military surgeon, I want to be a civilian one." I don't know what to make of this statement. The military pays for your schooling in return for service. Programs like FAP may allow you to pay off your loans for schooling without wearing a uniform (not too familiar with this), but you will work for the military in the military system. There is no "money for education without any obligation" program. That's why they're telling you that if you want to be a doc it's a bad idea. If the military pays for your education they will use you, not continue to throw money at you while you pursue a dream career. Research whatever programs you want (GI Bill, education benefits, national guard/reserves). I helped enlisted guys apply for many of them. The bottom line is that they own you. Make that trade once you get to medical school or once you graduate, and only if you want to be an officer and a doctor.

The reason you wait? Because your idea of them leaving you alone to pursue your education is a fiction. Furthermore, enlisting will not help you AT ALL with paying for medical school. You get commissioned as HPSP, USUHS, whatever. The only thing it could possibly do is delay your entry to medical school while you serve the commitment you acquired as a result of the service paying for your undergraduate education.

Bottom line: if you want to be a civilian working for the military, take out loans and sign up for FAP. If you want to be an officer/doctor in the military, undergrad as a civilian and then HPSP or USUHS for medical school. If you want to be an awesome CT surgeon in the civilian world, take out loans and do it civilian style.

Should mention that you can go to a service academy and they'll pay for undergrad and medical school consecutively. IF you get permission from the DoD and are one of ~a dozen selected from each class. This is not the smartest way to do it. If you're not selected, you do not go.
 

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I'm not exactly worried about ending up not pursuing medicine as a career. Four years of service isn't too long of a delay before going into medical school. I'm curious, though, why is it that you group enlisting before I go into university and enlisting/commissioning after as one choice? I'm sure there are pros and cons to each relative to my goal. I'm also curious if I can milk my GI Bill tuition for my university courses AND the medical school courses afterwards.

You will be, if you wait long enough. I suppose it is possible that you're different from everyone else, like a snowflake, but I'm just speaking to odds. How much schooling you can pay for with the GI Bill is fairly clearly covered on websites like the VA's. The reason I group joining the military before or after you complete your basic college is because I don't personally see any benefit to either choice. I suppose one benefit would be that it'll be easier to get a commission rather than to enlist after you have a degree. Otherwise, it is just a delay in training that will be nothing more than a line item in your resume so far as I am concerned.

That... sounds like crud. What about NSCP?
I don't know anything about that.

There is military history in my family, and I've always loved chances to test myself in hostile, sink-or-swim environments. I'm a big boy who can take it.
There is a ton of military history in my family as well, and joining the military was still the single biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. That's just my story, other people are happy with the choice. If you're really looking for hostile, sink-or-swim environments, then you should probably enlist or look for a commission either before or after college, respectively. There is nothing hostile or sink-or-swim about military medicine. Its just like being a regular doctor, except you work less, you have a smaller variety of patients, you get paid less, and your employer really has no idea what to do with you. Keep in mind that you could enlist and the military could make you a line cook or a mechanic. There's nothing wrong with that, but it isn't exactly a sink-or-swim environment. If you're really high speed, and you make your intentions clear, then you can certainly end up in something like a special forces unit. Just remember that most of the people who try to do that fail. It doesn't mean that you will. I don't know you, maybe you're a total badass. My advice is simply not to romanticize military life.
 
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I don't want to a military surgeon, I want to be a civilian one.

Sorry to oversimplify this, but don't join the military if you want to be a civilian surgeon. Use your civilian surgeon money to pay the loans you get from having to pay for school. Enlist and do some time before med school if you want to serve, but with your end goals I'd probably even try to talk you out of that.
 
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You will be, if you wait long enough. I suppose it is possible that you're different from everyone else, like a snowflake, but I'm just speaking to odds. How much schooling you can pay for with the GI Bill is fairly clearly covered on websites like the VA's. The reason I group joining the military before or after you complete your basic college is because I don't personally see any benefit to either choice. I suppose one benefit would be that it'll be easier to get a commission rather than to enlist after you have a degree. Otherwise, it is just a delay in training that will be nothing more than a line item in your resume so far as I am concerned.

I see. As far as I was able to understand the VA website, one month of full-time training = one month of tuition assistance? Is that correct, and does that mean if I want to pay for eight years of schooling I'll need eight years of service? Tell me if I'm asking to be spoonfed here (I submitted this as a question but I'm not expecting an answer for at least a week), it seems a common theme with the military is frustrating vagueness but if the information is there in a clearer form I'll find it.

If that's so it seems I'll have to settle for FAP
 

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I don't think you'll be settling for FAP. I think it's a good route. Here's what I would recommend:

Option 1:
enlist now, then go to college. You'll get time in the military, you can get money towards college, and you'll get the chance to do something closer to the usual concept of what military life is like. You always have the option of enlisting for a shorter time and then only having a portion of your schooling paid for, but frankly that's still beneficial. Plus you could get some college credits, or even take some courses, while in the military depending upon if your situation allows for it. Even if you have to pay out of pocket for some of your schooling, I promise that you'll find a way to do it. Don't get sucked in to the idea that the ONLY way to pay for med school is through the military. It is not.

Option 2: FAP. That way you'll be deciding whether or not military life, as a physician, is right for you after you know what its like being a physician. If you still have a bug for military service, you can get in at that time, but if you lose that bug you're not committed.
 
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Why not explore ROTC, Reserves, or National Guard options to pay for undergrad? That will help you with tuition, you can get a taste of military life, and you won't have to delay med school too much if that's something you decide to pursue.
 

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If you do enlist the best branches to finish your education from my experience and friends is Air Force and Navy. It still depends on your job though and the hours you would work. If the goal is to become a Doctor you could enlist on active duty and while active spend those 4 years using TA (Tuition Assistance). It pays for classes and fees only no books. Once you finish your degree you would be at the end of your tour and could get out and use your GI Bill for medical school. The GI Bill will pay you a housing/living allowance and books each month that would be easy to live off of if you don't have a family or extravagant needs. It is based on what zip code you school is in

That was my plan but I received a medical retirement before I could actually finish it. Now I have to use my GI Bill to finish whatever degree I can make a decision on and then use VocRehab for medical school.

ETA: There is no best time to go.
The military is like any other job the only difference is people actually do as they are supposed to and less crying about it "not being their job". Those who do cry/complain are dealt with and usually are the ones who don't like it.
 
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ETA: There is no best time to go.
The military is like any other job the only difference is people actually do as they are supposed to and less crying about it "not being their job". Those who do cry/complain are dealt with and usually are the ones who don't like it.

I find this to be the opposite of the reality, but I agree that military service is a job.
 

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If you do enlist the best branches to finish your education from my experience and friends is Air Force and Navy. It still depends on your job though and the hours you would work. If the goal is to become a Doctor you could enlist on active duty and while active spend those 4 years using TA (Tuition Assistance). It pays for classes and fees only no books. Once you finish your degree you would be at the end of your tour and could get out and use your GI Bill for medical school. The GI Bill will pay you a housing/living allowance and books each month that would be easy to live off of if you don't have a family or extravagant needs. It is based on what zip code you school is in

That was my plan but I received a medical retirement before I could actually finish it. Now I have to use my GI Bill to finish whatever degree I can make a decision on and then use VocRehab for medical school.

ETA: There is no best time to go.
The military is like any other job the only difference is people actually do as they are supposed to and less crying about it "not being their job". Those who do cry/complain are dealt with and usually are the ones who don't like it.

This is, again, an option that sounds good but isn't quite this easy. Your command approves your tuition assistance. What if they deny your request? What if you get stationed in a place where you only have access to distance courses? How will you get your lab prereqs done? What if you get deployed? What if you PCS in the middle of a course? What if your unit is doing a field exercise during your final?

Just know that PVT Smith's chemistry class is not on the top of anyone's priority list.

GI Bill is also tricky. Some people can get it to pay for all of medical school, some can't make it through on the GI bill alone. Plus, the entire idea of you using the GI bill presupposes you were able to get your undergraduate degree done while on active duty. If you didn't, you'll burn your GI Bill on undergrad after you get out.

ROTC and National Guard are similarly restrictive. They'll pay for school, but you have no guarantee they'll let you go to medical school afterwards.

I respect your desire to be financially prudent about your education. But getting the service to pay for it is a huge gamble on your part. If you want to be a soldier/airman/sailor/marine, fine. Go do that! If you want to be a doctor, focus on that accomplishment and approach the services when you're done. Everything you've said points to this being a financially motivated question (plus some "military history"), but the options you're considering are not good paths to the goal you've mentioned.

If you absolutely refuse to take out civilian loans, I would look into 6 yr BS/MD programs. Once you're done with the first two years pick your service of choice and approach them for an HPSP scholarship. This will put you on the right path and give you two years to explore whether or not military medicine is the right path to your career goals.
 
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G.Ming

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Unless you get deployed there will be classes on base from a college. If you do get deployed then wait until you come back I've seen MANY people finish their degrees. This is why I Said go AF or Navy (not 100% sure on Navy I can only go by what friends have told me they have done). I know for sure AF you are pushed to get your degree from my experience and those around me at every base. If you PCS you know well before you are going to leave this again is why most people choose the schools that partner with the base and hold classes there usually 4 week classes so you'd have time to complete the class.

In most of the instance you listed you are able to pause the class and pick back up or work it out to just send your work depending on the instructor.

Basically saying there is usually a way to get it done. Otherwise everyone around me would have not gotten it done.
Paying most of your Medical school sounds better than not paying for any of it IMO.
The only time I couldn't take classes was at my first base until I finished my CDCs/Training test. Other than that I was hounded to take them.

In the Air Force you don't have to go through supervision (Unless they changed it) I just applied for classes. I knew before I was in you had to ask but it changed for whatever reason.


This is, again, an option that sounds good but isn't quite this easy. Your command approves your tuition assistance. What if they deny your request? What if you get stationed in a place where you only have access to distance courses? How will you get your lab prereqs done? What if you get deployed? What if you PCS in the middle of a course? What if your unit is doing a field exercise during your final?

Just know that PVT Smith's chemistry class is not on the top of anyone's priority list.

GI Bill is also tricky. Some people can get it to pay for all of medical school, some can't make it through on the GI bill alone. Plus, the entire idea of you using the GI bill presupposes you were able to get your undergraduate degree done while on active duty. If you didn't, you'll burn your GI Bill on undergrad after you get out.

ROTC and National Guard are similarly restrictive. They'll pay for school, but you have no guarantee they'll let you go to medical school afterwards.

I respect your desire to be financially prudent about your education. But getting the service to pay for it is a huge gamble on your part. If you want to be a soldier/airman/sailor/marine, fine. Go do that! If you want to be a doctor, focus on that accomplishment and approach the services when you're done. Everything you've said points to this being a financially motivated question (plus some "military history"), but the options you're considering are not good paths to the goal you've mentioned.

If you absolutely refuse to take out civilian loans, I would look into 6 yr BS/MD programs. Once you're done with the first two years pick your service of choice and approach them for an HPSP scholarship. This will put you on the right path and give you two years to explore whether or not military medicine is the right path to your career goals.
 
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68PGunner

Unless you get deployed there will be classes on base from a college. If you do get deployed then wait until you come back I've seen MANY people finish their degrees. This is why I Said go AF or Navy (not 100% sure on Navy I can only go by what friends have told me they have done). I know for sure AF you are pushed to get your degree from my experience and those around me at every base. If you PCS you know well before you are going to leave this again is why most people choose the schools that partner with the base and hold classes there usually 4 week classes so you'd have time to complete the class.

In most of the instance you listed you are able to pause the class and pick back up or work it out to just send your work depending on the instructor.

Basically saying there is usually a way to get it done. Otherwise everyone around me would have not gotten it done.
Paying most of your Medical school sounds better than not paying for any of it IMO.
The only time I couldn't take classes was at my first base until I finished my CDCs/Training test. Other than that I was hounded to take them.

In the Air Force you don't have to go through supervision (Unless they changed it) I just applied for classes. I knew before I was in you had to ask but it changed for whatever reason.

Sorry but the Chair Force is the only branch that prioritizes your education. Don't extrapolating your fortunate and limited experience to the 99% of the real military.
 
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Why is that?
Because my experience so far, having had a career and many other jobs prior to medical school, is that a large number of people in MEDCOM don't take responsibility for anything and are accountable for nothing.

I don't have any line experience, so I can't comment on it. I've always felt that MEDCOM and the big Army are two totally different beasts being displayed in the same cage, so my comments should not be applied to both.

But MEDCOM is dominated by leadership that only cares about itself and doesn't know what's happening at the working end of the organization, and by civilian employees who only care about making just enough arbitrary policy to justify their own employment.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every generalization. I've worked with some excellent civilian employees, and some....well...reasonable leaders.

I find that most MEDCOM employees are unhappy with their responsibilities, don't know how to do their job efficiently, and can get away with anything. Again, mostly on the civilian side, but in MEDCOM those are the people you work with every day. It's like a giant DMV, except we're managing the health of human beings.

And based upon some of the soldiers I've taken care of, not everyone gets the boot for complaining or not doing their jobs. They do get relegated to the netherworld positions within the Army, but just dumping them is harder than it seems, if they want to fight it. Don't get me wrong, the only part about being a military doc that I like is taking care of soldiers, but just because the bums disappeared from your platoon doesn't mean they were wished into a corn field.

So I agree that being in the military is like a job. I don't agree that it's somehow a better job because the garbage gets taken out. Rather, and in particular relation to civilian employees, MEDCOM is like a crap filter. All sorts of people flow in, but only the crap sticks.
 
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This is, again, an option that sounds good but isn't quite this easy. Your command approves your tuition assistance. What if they deny your request? What if you get stationed in a place where you only have access to distance courses? How will you get your lab prereqs done? What if you get deployed? What if you PCS in the middle of a course? What if your unit is doing a field exercise during your final?

Just know that PVT Smith's chemistry class is not on the top of anyone's priority list.

GI Bill is also tricky. Some people can get it to pay for all of medical school, some can't make it through on the GI bill alone. Plus, the entire idea of you using the GI bill presupposes you were able to get your undergraduate degree done while on active duty. If you didn't, you'll burn your GI Bill on undergrad after you get out.

ROTC and National Guard are similarly restrictive. They'll pay for school, but you have no guarantee they'll let you go to medical school afterwards.

I respect your desire to be financially prudent about your education. But getting the service to pay for it is a huge gamble on your part. If you want to be a soldier/airman/sailor/marine, fine. Go do that! If you want to be a doctor, focus on that accomplishment and approach the services when you're done. Everything you've said points to this being a financially motivated question (plus some "military history"), but the options you're considering are not good paths to the goal you've mentioned.

If you absolutely refuse to take out civilian loans, I would look into 6 yr BS/MD programs. Once you're done with the first two years pick your service of choice and approach them for an HPSP scholarship. This will put you on the right path and give you two years to explore whether or not military medicine is the right path to your career goals.
This is all sound advice.
 

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Sorry but the Chair Force is the only branch that prioritizes your education. Don't extrapolating your fortunate and limited experience to the 99% of the real military.

If you read what I wrote instead of being upset YOU chose a different branch you'd see that I said if his goals were to go to school AF would be best (possibly navy). I do not care how you feel about my branch of choice.

If someone is asking what's the best way to go about school obviously I'm going to give the advice that is from my perspective.

I did not speak on Army or Marine because it isn't my experience and the few people I know who completed their degree AD said it was tough as they're aren't as many options.

Obviously my advice is going to be limited to my experience. Should I have given it from your perspective?
 
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68PGunner

If you read what I wrote instead of being upset YOU chose a different branch you'd see that I said if his goals were to go to school AF would be best (possibly navy). I do not care how you feel about my branch of choice.

If someone is asking what's the best way to go about school obviously I'm going to give the advice that is from my perspective.

I did not speak on Army or Marine because it isn't my experience and the few people I know who completed their degree AD said it was tough as they're aren't as many options.

Obviously my advice is going to be limited to my experience. Should I have given it from your perspective?

I'm not upset. I'm just correcting you by saying that the Air Force is the only branch that prioritizes a soldier's education. Not the Army! And certainly not the Navy!

Also, I know plenty of AF guys that couldn't go to school bc of their jobs. You are a special case even among AF people. The only reason why you have this fortunate opportunity because you were fortunate enough to have a desk job on your first assignment. This is not the norm.
 

G.Ming

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Lol I just meant like any other job as in it all sucks the same there is just less people in my experience who get to not work and get away with it.

I wasn't clear when I said that lol. I know a lot of people may not agree but in my experience with crappy jobs and bad leadership it's like any other job.

I had the absolute worst leadership in Korea and it didn't get much better in the states.

Also the AF isn't as forgiving as other branches. Enough problems and you are out. I still feel, bad for the guy who was really trying he just wasn't too bright and messed up on an important inspection. That was really his only issue he was a really good guy.

I keep hearing horror stories of how Medical is much worse than rest of the AF (even from the civilian doctors). I'd like to go to Med school to get a federal job on base actually. I think those in the military should have real doctors. I think my experience made me want to go that route but advice given to me is don't do it.

who
Because my experience so far, having had a career and many other jobs prior to medical school, is that a large number of people in MEDCOM don't take responsibility for anything and are accountable for nothing.

I don't have any line experience, so I can't comment on it. I've always felt that MEDCOM and the big Army are two totally different beasts being displayed in the same cage, so my comments should not be applied to both.

But MEDCOM is dominated by leadership that only cares about itself and doesn't know what's happening at the working end of the organization, and by civilian employees who only care about making just enough arbitrary policy to justify their own employment.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every generalization. I've worked with some excellent civilian employees, and some....well...reasonable leaders.

I find that most MEDCOM employees are unhappy with their responsibilities, don't know how to do their job efficiently, and can get away with anything. Again, mostly on the civilian side, but in MEDCOM those are the people you work with every day. It's like a giant DMV, except we're managing the health of human beings.

And based upon some of the soldiers I've taken care of, not everyone gets the boot for complaining or not doing their jobs. They do get relegated to the netherworld positions within the Army, but just dumping them is harder than it seems, if they want to fight it. Don't get me wrong, the only part about being a military doc that I like is taking care of soldiers, but just because the bums disappeared from your platoon doesn't mean they were wished into a corn field.

So I agree that being in the military is like a job. I don't agree that it's somehow a better job because the garbage gets taken out. Rather, and in particular relation to civilian employees, MEDCOM is like a crap filter. All sorts of people flow in, but only the crap sticks.
 
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68PGunner

Because my experience so far, having had a career and many other jobs prior to medical school, is that a large number of people in MEDCOM don't take responsibility for anything and are accountable for nothing.

I don't have any line experience, so I can't comment on it. I've always felt that MEDCOM and the big Army are two totally different beasts being displayed in the same cage, so my comments should not be applied to both.

But MEDCOM is dominated by leadership that only cares about itself and doesn't know what's happening at the working end of the organization, and by civilian employees who only care about making just enough arbitrary policy to justify their own employment.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every generalization. I've worked with some excellent civilian employees, and some....well...reasonable leaders.

I find that most MEDCOM employees are unhappy with their responsibilities, don't know how to do their job efficiently, and can get away with anything. Again, mostly on the civilian side, but in MEDCOM those are the people you work with every day. It's like a giant DMV, except we're managing the health of human beings.

And based upon some of the soldiers I've taken care of, not everyone gets the boot for complaining or not doing their jobs. They do get relegated to the netherworld positions within the Army, but just dumping them is harder than it seems, if they want to fight it. Don't get me wrong, the only part about being a military doc that I like is taking care of soldiers, but just because the bums disappeared from your platoon doesn't mean they were wished into a corn field.

So I agree that being in the military is like a job. I don't agree that it's somehow a better job because the garbage gets taken out. Rather, and in particular relation to civilian employees, MEDCOM is like a crap filter. All sorts of people flow in, but only the crap sticks.

I can only comment on FORSCOM since my experience has been limited to field medicine. At my unit, we have straight up bums who constantly get profiles to get out of field exercises and deployments. These same bums are the ones that work in the Aid Station because they're virtually useless everywhere else. I have brought this issue up to leadership various times, saying that all soldiers should be medically trained and readied for war. In fact, bums should be relegated to strictly cleaning details instead of medical work because they won't be there in wars. Yet, my message usually fall to deaf ears.
 
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G.Ming

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I'm not upset. I'm just correcting you by saying that the Air Force is the only branch that prioritizes a soldier's education. Not the Army! And certainly not the Navy!

Also, I know plenty of AF guys that couldn't go to school bc of their jobs. You are a special case even among AF people. The only reason why you have this fortunate opportunity because you were fortunate enough to have a desk job on your first assignment. This is not the norm.

Lol no not a desk job. Saying I'm desk jockey would be like me saying you wouldn't need the education as you my need enough brain to follow commands. Grow up.

I'm by far a special case. Many of those around me have gotten their degrees otherwise advancing is not an option. Those who were dedicated still went to school while working the insane hours we worked.

I think every branch should push education. I know too many people in bad situations after being forced out or not reenlisting. Yeah you get the GI BILL but people put their all into the military and usually get crapped on in return. It makes the crap a bit more worth it. I don't think I was screwed over but many people have been and got nothing from it
 
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68PGunner

Lol no not a desk job. Saying I'm desk jockey would be like me saying you wouldn't need the education as you my need enough brain to follow commands. Grow up.

I'm by far a special case. Many of those around me have gotten their degrees otherwise advancing is not an option. Those who were dedicated still went to school while working the insane hours we worked.

I think every branch should push education. I know too many people in bad situations after being forced out or not reenlisting. Yeah you get the GI BILL but people put their all into the military and usually get crapped on in return. It makes the crap a bit more worth it. I don't think I was screwed over but many people have been and got nothing from it

If you don't have a field exercise every 3-4 months for 30 days or more, you're a desk jockey in my book. I don't care how many hours you work. You are still in a fortunate position with predictable schedules, allowing you to go to school and take advantage of tuition assistance. I'm with the infantry guys on a regular basis. We would kill to have the opportunity to work 50-60 hours/wk without any field exercise, so we can go to school and better ourselves.

The people that usually get the short end of the sticks are FORSCOM people without any ability to go to school. However, I see too many desk jockeys at hospitals complaining about 50-60 hrs/wk work while making excuses about not going to school bc they're too tired. I don't feel sorry at all for these guys.
 
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G.Ming

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If you don't have a field exercise every 3-4 months for 30 days or more, you're a desk jockey in my book. I don't care how many hours you work. You are still in a fortunate position with predictable schedules, allowing you to go to school and take advantage of tuition assistance. I'm with the infantry guys on a regular basis. We would kill to have the opportunity to work 50-60 hours/wk without any field exercise, so we can go to school and better ourselves.

The people that usually get the short end of the sticks are FORSCOM people without any ability to go to school. However, I see too many desk jockeys at hospitals complaining about 50-60 hrs/wk work while making excuses about not going to school bc they're too tired. I don't feel sorry at all for these guys.

Every branch has jobs that cant go to school. It's why I said for the OP to go in with a career that would make that easy. By easy I don't mean that will cater to you I mean that will give some freedom to attend school.

Everyone should go in with a plan and various backups. I was working on cross training to be a linguist when I was forced out. That was after I found out I was too old by the date my package could go in for one of the programs that would pay for medical school which worked out since I was forced out later on.

If you cant work long hours and go to school or cry/complain it means you don't want it bad enough. I've seen AD single parents who went to school and earned degrees. No clue how they did it but they wanted it bad enough.
 

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I'm by far a special case. Many of those around me have gotten their degrees otherwise advancing is not an option. Those who were dedicated still went to school while working the insane hours we worked.

There is a world of difference between scratching out any old degree with community/transfer credits and a 2.0 average while on active duty in order to check a box on the enlisted promotion scale, and putting up a competitive gpa & MCAT for med school while getting all the hard science prereqs done. Any motivated person can do the former, but only fools and dreamers enlist planning to do the latter.
 
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68PGunner

There is a world of difference between scratching out any old degree with community/transfer credits and a 2.0 average while on active duty in order to check a box on the enlisted promotion scale, and putting up a competitive gpa & MCAT for med school while getting all the hard science prereqs done. Any motivated person can do the former, but only fools and dreamers enlist planning to do the latter.
I'm an exception to your rule then. However, I would say that the Army hasn't been very accommodative toward my educational goals. For that reason, I had to take Orgo online from UNE which limits my medical school options to only DOs school and a few MDs. I also underperformed on my MCAT bc of random field exercises during my study schedule. There have been many instances in which I wish that I had joined the Reserve. But, life doesn't always go as planned. At the end of the day, I'm very happy to be in my current situation.
 

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Every branch has jobs that cant go to school. It's why I said for the OP to go in with a career that would make that easy. By easy I don't mean that will cater to you I mean that will give some freedom to attend school.

Everyone should go in with a plan and various backups. I was working on cross training to be a linguist when I was forced out. That was after I found out I was too old by the date my package could go in for one of the programs that would pay for medical school which worked out since I was forced out later on.

If you cant work long hours and go to school or cry/complain it means you don't want it bad enough. I've seen AD single parents who went to school and earned degrees. No clue how they did it but they wanted it bad enough.

Perhaps your answer lies in the fact that even with all the experience on the boards, from all services and folks who have done military medicine, regular enlisted and officer life, is that we can't give you a straight answer. The bottom line is that in the military you are giving up control of your career. It could work out! You might have a supportive command, a stable position and posting, and all the luck in the world. But maybe not, even probably not. Either way, I don't think anyone on this thread would suggest that you'll be as competitive (unless you're just brilliant). Going to school on active duty is hard, and the classes and MCAT are no joke.

I think you've got your options. Just wanted to make one additional point (G.Ming and HighPriest will have to forgive me if I'm putting words in their mouths). First, I just want to ensure that if you're still reading this that you don't dismiss HighPriest's points as bitterness. Military medicine has its problems but that's not where this advice is coming from. It's just based on what you've told us. I've seen many of the same problems, but still enjoyed my time on active duty. On top of that, the military paid for every dime of my undergraduate and medical education to date. And I'm still telling you it isn't a good option. I hope that means something to you.

Second, there are service differences. It's likely true that the Air Force is most supportive of education, and that it has more jobs that support this (if only because their bases are usually well connected to the outside world). That being said, G.Ming's experience should not be your guide for making this decision. I'm not questioning his/her experiences. What I'm saying is that thinking "if I join and get the same job and work hard I can do it!" is a poor decision making process. Remember! YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE WHEN YOU JOIN THE MILITARY! This is inevitably a gamble, and you need to be ok with the alternative if it doesn't work out.

If you want to be a doctor, enlisting is not the best or easiest route. Even if it goes perfectly, online/lab courses, the inability to participate in extracurriculars, ramifications for your grades/MCAT, and the fact that many schools won't accept online courses limits your options. In addition, regardless of the service, college classes are hard to do while deployed (and we are still at war). Regardless of the service, your command can take away your college courses. It may be true that in the Air Force you don't have to get approval from your chain of command before you do TA, but I can promise you that your CO can take it away if he/she thinks it's necessary. Regardless of service, you are a serviceman/woman first.

The most supportive people here have told you that if you want it bad enough you can overcome the obstacles. They're not wrong. What I'm telling you is that if you want it badly enough, put all of your time and energy into it as a student instead of part-time as an enlisted man/woman. The military and all its money will be here when you've succeeded on your terms rather than potentially compromising your dreams for the sake of TA benefits.
 
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I'm an exception to your rule then.

I'm going to guess that you didn't enlist with the plan from day 0 to become a doctor. If you did, that was ill advised ... but I'm glad to hear it worked out. :)

However, I would say that the Army hasn't been very accommodative toward my educational goals. For that reason, I had to take Orgo online from UNE which limits my medical school options to only DOs school and a few MDs. I also underperformed on my MCAT bc of random field exercises during my study schedule. There have been many instances in which I wish that I had joined the Reserve. But, life doesn't always go as planned. At the end of the day, I'm very happy to be in my current situation.

@liubov922, pay attention - this is exactly why someone who wants to be a doctor shouldn't enlist in the military. The path to med school is already very hard. So hard that the great majority who try, either can't make it or self-select out of the pathway early on when p-chem/o-chem drags their ambition back down to earth, kicking and screaming in its death throes.

Completing an undergraduate degree in pieces, in an unconventional fashion, absolutely limit where you can apply and your odds of acceptance.

Yes, everyone think's they're a superstar and of course they'll be the ones who beat the odds. It's a bad plan to set yourself on a path where you have avoidable odds you'll have to beat.

There were hundreds of self-identified premeds per year at my undergraduate school (one of the Univ of California campuses). I was one of about 400 physiology majors and probably 350 of us were premed. Most changed course. Most who didn't, didn't get into medical school. These were people going to school full time, at a great institution with great facilities and a name that didn't raise skeptical eyebrows on med school admission committees. And, (don't discount this) as premeds we had specific organized support and counseling and guidance, everything from which classes to take, to MCAT prep, to the application process, to interview workshops.

There isn't an Army, Navy, or Air Force unit on the planet that can give you even 1/10th of that opportunity.

The fact that people like 68PGunner managed to do it is a testament to his talent and dedication, not the wisdom of the plan. :)


Want to be a doctor? Get thee to a reputable 4-year public university in whatever state you happen to live in, do well, go to medical school. Don't go to an expensive private school unless they offer you a ton of cash. Pay for it with grants, loans, and work-study. Accept that you'll be poor for a few years while in school. That is the answer.

Want to be in the military first? Great! Enlist, maybe knock out a couple of general ed classes, get out, and get thee to a reputable 4-year public university in whatever state you happen to live in, do well, go to medical school.
 
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If you cant work long hours and go to school or cry/complain it means you don't want it bad enough.

I really disagree with this pretty vehemently.

It implies that everyone is the master of their own fate. And that simply isn't true in the military. An enlisted person is at the mercy of the whims of every single person in the chain of command above them.

Your unfriendly E4 supervisor makes a duty schedule that conflicts with your classes? Tough. Command won't sign off on tuition assistance, or limits it to people who've been at the command for 6 or 12 months? Tough. Get orders to deploy? Tough. Your coworker gets caught with a kilo of cocaine and you have to pick up his slack and work 70 hour weeks for the next 3 months and that interferes with your English Lit class at the community college? Tough.

There's no amount of wanting it bad enough that can overcome some of the hurdles that routinely get thrown at junior enlisted personnel.

The ones who get it done are extraordinary people and deserve kudos, but the ones who fail aren't always slackers.
 

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I'm going to guess that you didn't enlist with the plan from day 0 to become a doctor. If you did, that was ill advised ... but I'm glad to hear it worked out. :)



@liubov922, pay attention - this is exactly why someone who wants to be a doctor shouldn't enlist in the military. The path to med school is already very hard. So hard that the great majority who try, either can't make it or self-select out of the pathway early on when p-chem/o-chem drags their ambition back down to earth, kicking and screaming in its death throes.

Completing an undergraduate degree in pieces, in an unconventional fashion, absolutely limit where you can apply and your odds of acceptance.

Yes, everyone think's they're a superstar and of course they'll be the ones who beat the odds. It's a bad plan to set yourself on a path where you have avoidable odds you'll have to beat.

There were hundreds of self-identified premeds per year at my undergraduate school (one of the Univ of California campuses). I was one of about 400 physiology majors and probably 350 of us were premed. Most changed course. Most who didn't, didn't get into medical school. These were people going to school full time, at a great institution with great facilities and a name that didn't raise skeptical eyebrows on med school admission committees. And, (don't discount this) as premeds we had specific organized support and counseling and guidance, everything from which classes to take, to MCAT prep, to the application process, to interview workshops.

There isn't an Army, Navy, or Air Force unit on the planet that can give you even 1/10th of that opportunity.

The fact that people like 68PGunner managed to do it is a testament to his talent and dedication, not the wisdom of the plan. :)


Want to be a doctor? Get thee to a reputable 4-year public university in whatever state you happen to live in, do well, go to medical school. Don't go to an expensive private school unless they offer you a ton of cash. Pay for it with grants, loans, and work-study. Accept that you'll be poor for a few years while in school. That is the answer.

Want to be in the military first? Great! Enlist, maybe knock out a couple of general ed classes, get out, and get thee to a reputable 4-year public university in whatever state you happen to live in, do well, go to medical school.

100% agree. I'd agree 110%, but that would make me an idiot.
You're looking at two roads. One is long and hard, and most people don't make it. The other is harder and longer, and they both lead to the same place. No do-overs. There's no reason to screw yourself. The fact is that yes military experience looks good on a resume, but not so much that it will overcome poor grades, a poor MCAT score, and/or attendance at a questionable university. Medical school admission boards are NOT looking at reasons to admit you. They already have tons of fully qualified applicants. They are looking for reasons to NOT admit you. The scales do not favor that balance. So I would look at your two paths as two different paths, rather than two paths to the same place. Like pgg said, do the military thing, then come back to the med school path. Or just do the med school path. Just keep in mind, as I've said, most people who delay their medical school course end up NOT going to medical school. You're talking about 4 years of enlisted service - which is already a hill to climb - and then coming back to scale a mountain.
 

G.Ming

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There is a world of difference between scratching out any old degree with community/transfer credits and a 2.0 average while on active duty in order to check a box on the enlisted promotion scale, and putting up a competitive gpa & MCAT for med school while getting all the hard science prereqs done. Any motivated person can do the former, but only fools and dreamers enlist planning to do the latter.


These are people with high GPAs and not from a CC and not a random degree. As I stated before if you really want something there is a way.
 

G.Ming

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I never had my TA signed off on. While I was AD it wasn't required.
You can read my previous post about everything else you listed.

I really disagree with this pretty vehemently.

It implies that everyone is the master of their own fate. And that simply isn't true in the military. An enlisted person is at the mercy of the whims of every single person in the chain of command above them.

Your unfriendly E4 supervisor makes a duty schedule that conflicts with your classes? Tough. Command won't sign off on tuition assistance, or limits it to people who've been at the command for 6 or 12 months? Tough. Get orders to deploy? Tough. Your coworker gets caught with a kilo of cocaine and you have to pick up his slack and work 70 hour weeks for the next 3 months and that interferes with your English Lit class at the community college? Tough.

There's no amount of wanting it bad enough that can overcome some of the hurdles that routinely get thrown at junior enlisted personnel.

The ones who get it done are extraordinary people and deserve kudos, but the ones who fail aren't always slackers.
 

G.Ming

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I agree with everything you stated.

I did not mean go in with one solid plan as things change so much. You should always have backup plans. I just gave an idea of what is very much possible as it has been achieved by others (obviously not myself since I was forced to retire). I do think I tend to romanticize my experience in the AF as I only remember the good when I think of it and tell people about it.


Perhaps your answer lies in the fact that even with all the experience on the boards, from all services and folks who have done military medicine, regular enlisted and officer life, is that we can't give you a straight answer. The bottom line is that in the military you are giving up control of your career. It could work out! You might have a supportive command, a stable position and posting, and all the luck in the world. But maybe not, even probably not. Either way, I don't think anyone on this thread would suggest that you'll be as competitive (unless you're just brilliant). Going to school on active duty is hard, and the classes and MCAT are no joke.

I think you've got your options. Just wanted to make one additional point (G.Ming and HighPriest will have to forgive me if I'm putting words in their mouths). First, I just want to ensure that if you're still reading this that you don't dismiss HighPriest's points as bitterness. Military medicine has its problems but that's not where this advice is coming from. It's just based on what you've told us. I've seen many of the same problems, but still enjoyed my time on active duty. On top of that, the military paid for every dime of my undergraduate and medical education to date. And I'm still telling you it isn't a good option. I hope that means something to you.

Second, there are service differences. It's likely true that the Air Force is most supportive of education, and that it has more jobs that support this (if only because their bases are usually well connected to the outside world). That being said, G.Ming's experience should not be your guide for making this decision. I'm not questioning his/her experiences. What I'm saying is that thinking "if I join and get the same job and work hard I can do it!" is a poor decision making process. Remember! YOU ARE NOT IN CHARGE WHEN YOU JOIN THE MILITARY! This is inevitably a gamble, and you need to be ok with the alternative if it doesn't work out.

If you want to be a doctor, enlisting is not the best or easiest route. Even if it goes perfectly, online/lab courses, the inability to participate in extracurriculars, ramifications for your grades/MCAT, and the fact that many schools won't accept online courses limits your options. In addition, regardless of the service, college classes are hard to do while deployed (and we are still at war). Regardless of the service, your command can take away your college courses. It may be true that in the Air Force you don't have to get approval from your chain of command before you do TA, but I can promise you that your CO can take it away if he/she thinks it's necessary. Regardless of service, you are a serviceman/woman first.

The most supportive people here have told you that if you want it bad enough you can overcome the obstacles. They're not wrong. What I'm telling you is that if you want it badly enough, put all of your time and energy into it as a student instead of part-time as an enlisted man/woman. The military and all its money will be here when you've succeeded on your terms rather than potentially compromising your dreams for the sake of TA benefits.
 

DeadCactus

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Joining the military as a means of facilitating medical school is a stupid decision. The end. Hard stop. This isn't a debate any more than vaccination is a debate.

Join if you want to be in the military. Hell, join if you need 4 years to mature before you tackle college. There are plenty of physicians who spent their 20's flying helicopters or jumping out of airplanes I would be lying if I said they didn't make me question going straight through. But wasting 4 years of physician income because you don't want to be an adult and take out some loans is ridiculous. Our society's fear of debt is ridiculous. By all means avoid overpriced schools and live frugally but there's a difference between responsible debt and a $160k history degree or buying new rims on a credit card.

PS "I didn't come here to be discouraged, I came here for answers." No one cares. The people hear are providing you the benefit of decades of experience free of charge. They know what you need more than you do and you should be thankful they're wasting their time to provide it when it's statistically unlikely that any given high-school premed will ever even apply to medical school let alone go through with CT surgery.
 

pgg

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These are people with high GPAs and not from a CC and not a random degree. As I stated before if you really want something there is a way.
Sounds like someone's irresistible force hasn't come up against an immovable object yet. :)

May it ever be so for you.
 

pgg

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I never had my TA signed off on. While I was AD it wasn't required.
You can read my previous post about everything else you listed.
At my last command, no enlisted person got the commander's endorsement for TA or off-duty employment until they'd been on station for a year and had proven themselves capable of handling their military workload.

But you would have us believe they just didn't want it bad enough.
 

G.Ming

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At my last command, no enlisted person got the commander's endorsement for TA or off-duty employment until they'd been on station for a year and had proven themselves capable of handling their military workload.

But you would have us believe they just didn't want it bad enough.


Yeah that is exactly what I meant. Even though I said have backup plans and that I had to finish my training and testing first I obviously lumped that in with not wanting it bad enough. :laugh:
Ya got what I secretly meant though LOL. Stop reading only the parts you wish to respond to as to changes what I actually said. If someone wants to know what is possible I can only give what I have done or those around me have done. Just like you cant give my perspective stop trying to bullying me into only giving yours.

Calm down. It is okay that we have experienced different things. You're like a woman who had no pain during child birth trying to tell someone with the worst contractions that thy aren't real because they didnt happen to you.
 

pgg

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Calm down. It is okay that we have experienced different things. You're like a woman who had no pain during child birth trying to tell someone with the worst contractions that thy aren't real because they didnt happen to you.

You're spending a lot of time in this thread accusing other people of being upset.
 

G.Ming

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You're spending a lot of time in this thread accusing other people of being upset

Not actually. It is like me saying "I'm so mad" to something I find funny. I am not actually mad nor do I think you are upset. The same for when I say "don't be mad at me because..." I don't genuinely believe you are upset.

My tone comes across mean in print when it seriously isn't meant that way. My apologies if that is how I've come across.
 
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