HS grad parent here. Daughter has an appt to USMA WP and has an acceptance to a local pre-med osteopathic program here in NM with AROTC scholarship her 4 yes are covered for all, with a guaranteed seat to medical school as long as she completes the OMPP osteopathic pathways program and MCAT. She has a had a difficult time choosing. Although her major will be life sciences/psychology regardless. The civilian option is not Ivy league but has her option of becoming a physician. At the end of the day she will pin 2nd LT as long as all requirements are met of course. ROTC has said if she passes her MCAT that they will delay her service commitment and assist with her med school fees. The school is Burrell College of Osteopathic medicine. But her USMA option is there too, for this month actually. Just wanting some thoughts on the situation, we are running out of time. Thanks for your feedback! Appreciate you all!

I would run, not walk, away from a private for-profit medical school.


This all depends on how much she wants the USMA experience.

The military is actively seeking doctors and often recruits at med schools. My guy’s apartment roommate went that route and they paid for med school. He now has to serve X years, of course.

I doubt they give a hoot about which med school it is - or which undergrad.

So… does she want to be a cadet in the USMA or have a more civilian experience to reach her end goal? The two are totally different from each other, but the end goal should be the same.

I’d go with West Point.

Neither is a sure thing, in both cases she has to do well in pre-med courses and the MCAT. May as well get the honor and glory of WP. Do WP grads make more $ if Med school doesn’t happen?

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USMA is an amazing experience and a lifetime of deep connections.

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Thanks for the insight, she wants to be a physician and commission. Great feedback.

And she can do this via ROTC or USMA, but the lifestyle of the two is totally different. She really needs to be the one deciding if she will thrive at USMA or detest it.

H and I both went to the cadet section of VT which sort of mimics the academies in that it’s a lifestyle for four years, not just classes and weekends. We know others who went the academy route and others who went ROTC or OTS routes. All do fine in the military (based upon their personality TBH). The end is the same - esp if she wants to be a doctor.

But the path to get there is totally different. I’d never suggest someone who didn’t want to be a cadet choose that path as they only bring the others down with their negativeness.

Does she want to live and breathe the cadet route or the civilian military route?

If planning or thinking about making the Military a career definitely USMA. if just looking for military to pay for med school ROTC would be fine.

Your daughter needs to decide if her primary goal is medicine or serving in the Army. Both ROTC and USMA will enable her to commission as a 2LT, but medicine is no guarantee out of USMA. (Fewer than ten were selected for med school from our son’s class of ‘19, all in the top 3% of the class.) There are several threads on this topic in the service academy sub forums here, but even better discussions over on the site where your daughter can get her questions answered by current military personnel, including military MDs.

If her primary goal is medicine, USMA is not the way to go. She has a better chance of earning an MD as a civilian and can commission with the Army after (this is the route most Army MDs take).

ETA: The link in that older thread I highlighted no longer resolves correctly. The article can be found here.


I had about the same decision many years ago. I took the ROTC scholarship. My belief was and still is that the military academies should be for students that want to have a military career. I was unsure and didn’t contract but still had fun and invaluable experiences.

A friend’s brother from high school went to the USMA and is a doctor now. It can be done. The military needs doctors.

I watched relatives go to the academies. They were career officers. To each their own. Good luck.

Thank you for sharing, good points! Appreciate the insight.

Good read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and article.

The military does need doctors, but it doesn’t look to West Point as a primary source which is why so few come out of USMA. Most military MDs commission with the various service branches from civilian sources.