ApplyingMD

My blog while I apply to medical school.

catherinebythackeray asked: Hi there! I just came across this blog looking at USUHS things. I'm an undergrad at UC Davis and I had a few questions for you: 1. If you feel comfortable saying, what was your MCAT score? 2. Do you think ROTC/military service is necessary? 3. What is your advice for prospective applicants in terms of how to prepare to apply? (And I'm sorry about not getting in to Davis's med school. But it is EXTREMELY competitive. And USUHS is awesome. So congrats!)

Hi there, my MCAT score was 32 (11, 10, 11).  ROTC and prior military service is absolutely NOT essential as 2/3 of the class has no prior militry experience whatsoever. In terms of applying for USUHS, you have to have a genuine interest in military medicine and not just in the military’s money.  It is not worth it if you are doing it purely for the money.  Understand that physicians in the military do get deployed.  If you are Navy like I am you can expect to move every 2-3 years (this is less for docs).  An extreme example of an interview question that would test whether or not you were actually interested in military medicine is “would you shoot someone in order to defend your patient”?.  I hope that helps.  Good luck on applying and let me know if you have any other questions. 

Why I am (95%) sure I want to go to USUHS. 
1) Financial- I will be paid officer salary during medical school and come out of training with no debt.  Thats a huge relief in the long run.
2) Patients- I don’t think I could ask for better patients then US soldiers and their families. 
3) Training- Along with the normal medical school training, USUHS students get training in various things/situations that civilian medical schools do not teach.  Much of this extra curriculum is focused on resource-poor settings.  Considering my interests are in humanitarian aid and austere medicine I don’t think I could get better training anywhere else but USUHS 
4) Travel- Clinical rotations all over the country and travel for either stationing or deployment.  Deployment also sounds weirdly fun.  I know it’s stressful and war is an awful thing but it sounds like the type of medicine I want to practice.  
5) Freaking love D.C. and Bethesda 
Oakland-Beaumont is a great up and coming school with an amazing hospital.  But I don’t think it is the right school for me, culturally, and I’m not a huge fan of the area. 

Why I am (95%) sure I want to go to USUHS. 

1) Financial- I will be paid officer salary during medical school and come out of training with no debt.  Thats a huge relief in the long run.

2) Patients- I don’t think I could ask for better patients then US soldiers and their families. 

3) Training- Along with the normal medical school training, USUHS students get training in various things/situations that civilian medical schools do not teach.  Much of this extra curriculum is focused on resource-poor settings.  Considering my interests are in humanitarian aid and austere medicine I don’t think I could get better training anywhere else but USUHS 

4) Travel- Clinical rotations all over the country and travel for either stationing or deployment.  Deployment also sounds weirdly fun.  I know it’s stressful and war is an awful thing but it sounds like the type of medicine I want to practice.  

5) Freaking love D.C. and Bethesda 

Oakland-Beaumont is a great up and coming school with an amazing hospital.  But I don’t think it is the right school for me, culturally, and I’m not a huge fan of the area. 

And the winner is…

So after talking with my family, friends, mentors, and girlfriend I am at least 90% sure I will be going to USUHS next year.  Look for a more detailed post soon! 

Just a short update

I am still trying to decide whether to go to USUHS or OUWB.  Again, this is a very hard decision and I am trying to think about it slowly.

mblarkin asked: Hey, my name is Ben I just ran across this blog. I was accepted to USUHS also just received my unconditional. What branch? Have you joined the facebook group for the 2017 class yet? Anyways just wanted to say hi. But of luck in your medical school decisions.

Yes I have received my unconditional.  I was admitted as NAVY and am on the fb group.  Congrats on the acceptance! Maybe we will meet in fall!

Choosing which Med School to go to is hard.

For any new followers, I currently have been admitted to USUHS (military med school) and OUWB (newer-ish school in MI).  Though it is still entirely possible for me to get another interview invite, I’m willing to bet that my school choices are going to boil down to these two.  

Let me say first that I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have gotten in to these schools and am totally satisfied with the way this application cycle went.  Thats obvious since I got in haha.

However, now comes the very difficult decision of where to go.  The thing that is complicating this decision however, is that I am not choosing simply between two schools but between two lifestyles. 

OUWB is a normal med school.  USUHS however, is obviously unique.  For those that don’t know, USUHS is the military medical school.  It is a regular medical school but with additional training and courses involving military medicine.  Students are active duty officers while in school and residency and are paid as such.  The catch is that students owe 7 years of active duty service as an MD after residency.

The latter makes this choice very hard.  Military medicine in many ways is exactly like civilian medicine.  However it is different in key aspects.  For example, the scope of practice for a deployed physician is completely different from what it is at home.  Also, an active duty military doctor does not get much say in where he or she lives. 

Basically, one gives up a lot of freedom in exchange for having no monetary debt.  Now let me say that I have absolutely no problem with any of this.  I applied to this school because I am very interested in military medicine and from talking with some military docs it sounds like exactly what I want to do. However, I want to be 100% sure in whatever choice I make and right now I’m not there.

Luckily, I have until May 15th to decide. 

I’m 2 for 2!

Got the call today that I got into OUWB! I’m batting 1000 on interviews.  I hope I get one more!

cuckoocourt asked: Hey Alex! Just came up on your blog and its been really awesome reading through your application process--I plan to do the same thing for when I apply this semester for the 2013-2014 cycle. I plan to take the MCAT in May, and was wondering if this will be a "good" time to take it, or would it put me at a disadvantage if it's "late" in the application cycle? I was also wondering how much time you devoted to studying for it during the semester?

Hi! Glad you enjoy the blog! I hope you find it helpful. 

I know lots of people who are taking the MCAT in May.  Taking it then gives you lots of time to study which is great.  However, you have very little time between getting your scores back and applying.

If you take the MCAT in May you will get your score back in June.  The application opens in May and can be submitted in June.  As long as you get your application in in June, then you will have no problem.  

I studied for the MCAT over my winter break and took it 3 weeks in to my winter quarter.  So, I didn’t spend too much time during the quarter studying.  However, those 3 weeks were MCAT filled.  I was taking a test every other day for the first 2 weeks.  

If you have any other questions please ask! 

Hello MED school

"I am a nurse going back to school to do my med school requirements. Besides grades what can help me out to be more appalling to schools. extracurricular activies?  Im a fulltime student and work as a nurse…"

Honestly, I have no good advice.  You are in a unique situation already being a nurse.  My advice to those who are not nurses would have been to get patient contact experience, but you lots of that!

I think the most important thing for you is to be able to adequately explain why it is you want to go from being a nurse to a physician. 

Best of luck!