Military Medical School

Patriotic emblem for military medical school, things to think about for army medical school.

Photo courtesy of Pam Roth

If you are looking for a military medical school, your search will be short and sweet. There is only one! The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. However, you may also be interested in military options to help pay for medical school. Each branch of the military, including Army medical school, provides scholarships that pay for all the costs of medical school along with a monthly stipend. Both of these options will be described below.

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

  • Basic Information

  • Name: The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine 
  • Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Public or Private: Owned by the US Government, a true military medical school 
  • School Website: Click here

 

  • Admissions

  • You are committing to being in the military. Understand that in enrolling in this school, you are enrolling in military service. You may enroll in the Army medical school, Navy, Air Force or Public Health Service.
  • Average MCAT: 30
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • For full information from the admissions website, click here

 

  • Financial

    • Tuition: FREE! There is no tuition for going to this military medical school. Your tuition is paid through your branch of the military, which may be the Army medical school. Your payment in return is a commitment to "serving at least seven years in the uniformed service after graduation, internship and residency are complete."
    • You will get paid to go to school!: You will be PAID while going to medical school at the "full salary and benefits of a second lieutenant or ensign throughout all four years of school." This equates to  $2,784 per month for the 2011 budget. Now that's what I call a great deal and a great reason to consider a this military medical school.
    • Cost of Living: Student housing is not available on campus, and 1 bedroom apartments run in the $1000 per month range.

 

  • Insider Information

  • Free for a price. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone seeking a career in the military doing medical work. If you are not interested in working in the military but are interested in a free medical school, this is probably not the program for you. Seven years of service after all of your training are required for this military medical school. Also, you are required to first apply for military residencies before civilian residencies. This means an Army medical school will likely lead to an Army residency. You are also likely to be deployed to active service and may be "encouraged" to seek a specialty that the military needs even if that is not the specialty that you really want. The school's website makes this clear by stating that residency matches are "based on service needs and student preference. Typically, more than 90 percent of USU students receive their first choice in specialty and location." This is also true if you choose the scholarships through the military to pay for medical school.
  • Field exercises included. You are a member of the military while attending this school and as such you will be involved in field training exercises (like what you would do if you were really in a battle). Sounds like fun! This is a true Army medical school!
  • Additional curriculum. From the school's website: "Students attend school year round and receive an additional 500 hours of preparation compared to their civilian counterparts. Topics such as trauma and emergency medicine, infectious disease and parasitology, the humanities and behavioral science, and the principles of leadership and teamwork is the focus of the enhanced curriculum."
  • Uniforms to Class. You will be in uniform in class. To be expected for the Uniformed Services University.
  • In Army medical school, you'll train in the field. Real life experience if you choose a military medical school!

    Photo courtesy of US Army Africa

    The Health Professions Scholarship Program

      • In this program, you will have your tuition and fees fully paid for by your branch of military as well as a monthly living stipend.
      • Generally you will pay this back with one year of military service for each year you receive aid
      • For more information about this program from each branch, click on the following:
      • For more information about other types of scholarships for medical school, click here.

    Conclusion

    • Military medical schools and military medical school scholarships are a great option if you are interested in a career in medicine in the military. You will have great training and graduate with no debt. However, you will be considered an asset to the military that will be used according to the military's needs and not necessarily your own. If this is something you are willing to do, then go for it! I seriously considered this route, but decided that the risk of being sent away from my family for extended periods was too high. From what I heard, the Air Force was the most family-friendly branch. Army medical school, Navy and Public medical service also have their benefits so check them all out before you decide. Good luck!

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