Hi! I am a freshman in high school and I have a few questions about West Point Medical School:
I know most students are admitted to West Point with intentions of serving in the army and then go to Medical School. (Atleast that’s what I’ve heard). Can I go straight out of highschool to Medical School at West Point? I would like to be an army doctor so I’ve been exploring options recently… I’m just looking for details on the process to becoming an army doctor, possible schools (Westpoint, ROTC, etc.) and general details.
And the 2% who do go are from the very top of the class which is quite an achievement at WP. The service academies are not a guaranteed route to an MD and are not a good choice if becoming a doctor is your main goal. You will serve at the needs of the Army. The Army will determine which specialty it needs from you, and the Army will determine your service commitment. Not trying to be dissuade you, but if you go the academy route, service needs to be your main goal and you need to be OK with not being selected for medical school at the end of it. Most Army doctors do not attend the academy.
I just wanted to say that I think it’s great that you want to serve your country as a military doctor.
There is a lot of info out there about joining the military before or after medical school. Just google, for example, “Joining the military to pay for med school”. There is a military medical school in Bethesda, MD.
You would need to be a good fit both as a soldier who takes orders and will likely be deployed, and as a physician who takes care of a unique population.
@TomSrOfBoston : Thanks for the info! Does Westpoint have a 7-year program? My career goal is to be an army doctor so I am looking for a school that will set me on that path…
@ChoatieMom : Thanks for the details! I really appreciate it! What do you mean by “The Academy”. And to answer your question, service definitely is my main goal.
@3SailAway : Thanks for the info! My main intention for aspiring to be an army doctor is not to pay for med school but to rather have an opportunity to serve ( I grew up with a very patriotic family as my grandpa served in the army). I do row on a crew team-so I consider myself to be pretty fit.
Is there an option for me to go to a service-oriented medical school without having to take the same physical training as students training to be in the army? I understand some fitness will be involved, of course.
Westpoint does not have a medical school. West point is undergrad only. It is the Army’s military academy. You may be thinking of the Uniformed Services University medical school. This is the medical school for the armed services. You apply and attend after undergrad. It is free, plus a stipend and you owe a certain amount of military service after graduation. Alternatively, you can attend ANY US medical school for free if you commit to serve in the armed forces afterwards. You simply need to speak with a recruiter after you have a medical school acceptance.
The benefit is that medical schools is paid for and you have a stipend. You do owe a few years of service afterwards and you don’t have much leeway in choosing your specialty.
Thank you very much!! @gallentjill . That was really helpful!! I will definitely look into that! Are there an 6, 7, or 8 year integrated medical programs that you have heard of that are affiliated with the armed forces?
I don’t know of any integrated programs associated with the armed forces. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. However, you can participate in ANY combined program and simply sign up with the armed services once you have your acceptance to medical school. For example, there is a 7 year program with Renselier Polytechnic and Ablany Medical school. If you were to be accepted into that program, you could contact the army recruiter as soon as you had your official acceptance to Albany – which would probably be sometime in the third year of RPI. All of the combined programs are VERY difficult to get into. However, you don’t need a combined program to become a doctor. 95% of people in medical don’t go through any combined program.
Please make sure to check on all the information I’m giving you. I believe it all to be correct, but you should definately verify!
@kanna1621: All of the information you have been given here is helpful and correct, but you should also do some research and ask questions on the serviceacademyforums.com board which is the official site for applicants to the academies and ROTC programs at civilian colleges. There are many threads about the path to MD over there, and the site is moderated by current and former military who are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
I need to question whether serviceacademyforums.com is an “Official Site” for applicants. As far as I can see it is a privately owned site that has no official recognition or endorsement from the DoD. Am I missing something?
Official in the sense that it is where most applicants go to get their questions answered by current and former military. It is the CC for ROTC and academy applicants, but the information provided there comes from reliable, firsthand sources. During our son’s application process, his FFR and regional rep recommended it as a sound resource. One of them is a regular contributor to the site. Unlike CC, most questions there are answered definitively from the various academy and branch documentation, not a lot of guessing, debate, or random advice. If you need an answer to a specific question, the moderators there will give you the correct answer, provide the relevant link, connect you to the appropriate resource, or tell you where you need to go or whom to contact to get your answer. Most threads are very short because most of the questions posed have black and white answers.
A little late to the discussion. But, I don’t think anyone should attend West Point solely with the expectation that they are going to medical school. Although some do, most don’t. West Point is the U.S. Army’s military academy. Any who enters should anticipate spending time as an infantry, armor, field artillery officer prior to going to medical school or law school. Going in with any other expectation will likely lead to disappointment.
If med school is your goal, going to a service academy is not a good idea. Out of my class maybe 15 students went to Med School and they are at the very top of the class. Being at the top of your class at West Point is not easy and not something I would suggest anyone “count on.” We’re talking Rhodes Scholars and future Secretaries of State level intellect
Med schools look mostly at GPA and MCAT, which they have to publish average scores of. They may modify GPA requirements a little by school, so you need like a 3.3 from MIT. West Point grades are harder than almost anywhere, so you would need to be in the top 5 or 10% of your class to get the about 3.5 minimum for medical school.
There are lots of required Military Science courses and drills and so on, so you are not going to be spending as much time on premed courses as dedicated premeds at other schools. It would be difficult to take off a year to study for the MCAT or go into a special masters program if you didn’t get into medical school the first time.
Then if you go to medical school, you of course will have to serve in the army for a few years. They are giving free medical school tuition for almost anyone accepted to medical school if they will sign up. Obviously, the government salary is much lower than what a doctor could make elsewhere.
As I implied, WP seems like an awful place to the the GPA for med school and not a good place to get high MCAT scores or strong preparation for med school. The good part is you would have a clear back up plan.
In any case, without major hooks, you need to be a good candidate for a top 30 school to have a good chance at med school. However, it is probably better to go somewhere easier than that as they don’t adjust GPA much by school and major.
I am not a doctor and haven’t been in the military. I know a little about all of this, but others may know more. However, they are offering a lot with free tuition plus a stipend. Some med students take high interest private loans in addition to government loans. That money should all be tax free. I assume physicians make so much after completing their residencies that it might not be that great a deal.
In the Vietnam War, they let physicians complete some or all of their training before being drafted. Then the incentive was avoiding combat. However, it wasn’t like being a doctor in the Civil War not on the battlefield, and there were physician casualties.
I would think they would want many specialists in general surgery, in case they need doctors to treat wounded in war time. If they are looking for people in certain specialties, I would consider and/or find out what kind of work they have planned for those specialists. I wouldn’t do this unless you are willing to go wherever they send you, do whatever you are assigned, and possibly wind out in a war zone.