How do I become a physician and have the Army pay for it?

I am currently a senior in high school.

I will probably attend University of Colorado Boulder next year, and will attempt some sort of pre-med focus degree.

After I graduate from CU, I will be looking for a medical school, and I hope to begin training to become a physician. What I want to try to do is do some sort of ROTC program during medical school to help defray the cost of medical school. Afterwards, I would like to serve in any branch of the armed forces (not just Army) for five-six years as a commissioned officer.

So, is this possible?

I really don’t mind crappy pay, as long as it’s not hunting squirrels on the weekend for extra protein, but I do want to be able to spend my intership and residency within the armed forces. Can I select my own specialty, or will this be decided for me? I’m currently leaning towards emergency medicine or trauma surgery, but of course, this is a long way off. I think I’d live to avoid podiatry.

Since so many SDMB’ers have served in the military or are physicians who may have looked into this before, I’d appreciate any info that you can give me.

Recruiters are generally not helpful because all they want you to do is enlist the afternoon they talk to you or else do a typical ROTC program; telling me I could always go to med school after serving in the military for five years. They are generally unwilling to research this, or give me some names to contact to research it on my own. Thanks, but no thanks.

Again, thanks. To the SDMB. Not the recruiters.

I have a friend who is in Medical School through the Air Force. He never did ROTC and took a 2 year break after college. He set up the Air Force/Med School combo only a few months before he started school. The Air Force is paying for everything, all he has to do is go to an Officer’s Training for a few months this summer. He can choose any area he wishes, but when he’s done he owes ~4 years to the Air Force.

His girlfriend is in med school in the Navy, and my friend tells me he will be able to switch to the Navy to be with her if he wishes, but she, being a female doctor, would have a harder time doing so since she’s in higher demand.

Try this program. It’s a great deal and appears to be exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t like the school, I’d still recommend talking to the points of contact to see if they have any suggestions for you.

My cousin (the doctor) was in some kind of federal program that paid for medical school (I’m not sure how much it paid, but it was a lot). The catch was that after graduating, she had to spend a couple of years practicing in what they define as an “underserved” area. In her case, it was part of New York City. Rural areas that have few doctors would also be classified as underserved. Sorry, I do not know the name of the program, maybe someone else reading this thread can provide more info.

Also look into the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, which provides programs for the armed military and also for the Public Health Service.

Just don’t tell them afterward that you’re gay to try to get out of your obligation.

Thank you very much, this is exactly the type of information which I was looking for. You would think it would a’ killed a recruiter to give me some of this info.

If I could go a step further, did the people who you know who are currently in this program seem to enjoy it? Were they happy about the decision? What was it like from the standpoint of a med-student/intern/physician?

Again, thank you very much for the information.

The 9th Circuit ruling FOR the military?? I’m stunned. Simply stunned. Hensala should have complained that the military forced him to say the pledge of allegance.

My cousin did this program with the Army. He’s an anesthesiologist (sp?), and is just finishing up his contracted service with the Army. He really liked it until he got married. He’s served all over the world, and right after 9-11-01 he was sent to Uzbekistan to some sort of MASH unit.

Just like any kind of military service, it can be a ball until you’re the one leaving your spouse for long periods of time and possibly going into danger.

If you can stand the rigors of med school, the discipline of the military is not going to be anything new for you. This may be a little bit further along than what you’re planning, but my GP here in town is a former Air Force doctor. Since the military paid for his education and once he completed his obligated time in service, he was able to open a beautiful medical center. (i.e. he’s not paying off med school loans.)