I frequently get asked how my military life plan works, so I want to clear up confusion from the start:
– 4 years of medical school at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland (you can also opt for the HPSP scholarship and go to a civilian school, but I preferred USU)
- 1.5 years classroom followed by 2.5 years of rotations nationally and internationally at military hospitals for all the branches. School is year-round.
– 4(+) years of residency
- I am currently leaning toward psychiatry, but 65% of matriculating medical students change their mind by the end of medical school. If I do psychiatry in the Air Force, I will likely end up in San Antonio, Texas or Dayton, Ohio for my 4-year residency.
- I could also squeeze in a General Medical Officer (GMO) tour before residency. The civilian equivalent is a general practitioner. Very common for Navy, but I do not anticipate doing it myself.
– 7(+) years of active duty service
- Do my time as a military medical doctor. Will get deployed from time to time, but usually assigned to military bases in the U.S. unless I choose to be abroad.
- If I serve for 20 years of active duty, I can retire in my forties!
– 6(+) years of reserve
All throughout, I do not have to worry about tuition or fees, insurance or malpractice, and I am a paid military officer. Wins all around.