What is this program and who is it for?
The Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) is a relatively new addition to existing military education/commissioning programs. Selected applicants come the enlisted force of all branches of the DoD (as well as the Air Reserve Component) and are provided a structured 24-month pre-med curriculum in exchange for service as military physicians. Specific details vary depending on the servicemember’s branch and can be found through their respective channels or from USUHS’s page (https://www.usuhs.edu/emdp2) or the proram’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/USUEMDP2/)
What are the requirements for the program?
Given my personal background and the intended audience of this page, I’ll speak to what I know about how this fits into an Air Force career, though most points generally apply across the board. The most pressing eligibility requirements are that an applicant must be less than 35 years old, have more than 36 months TIS, no more than 10 years TIS, and must have a Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) from an accredited university. Other factors such as GPA, ACT/SAT, and existing assignment and administrative requirements exist as well but those mentioned previously are the big ones.
Where is this held and how does it flow into med school?
Classes are held at the George Mason University Sci/Tech campus in Manassas, Virginia. Regardless of a student’s previous education or degree, everyone attends the standard premed curriculum. Students from the general population do not attend our lectures and the content is tailored slightly to focus on MCAT/med school preparation. Applications to USUHS are required, and applications to other accredited MD/DO schools are encouraged. We do have the freedom to attend any accepting school, and there are enough pros and cons for USUHS vs Civilian/HPSP to warrant its own discussion.
Is this a break from active duty? What is my status during the program?
Students are active duty for the duration of the EMDP2, and the time counts towards retirement, TIS, and benefits. Standard base pay/BAH/BAS, etc paychecks continue to come, but you won’t be getting any flight/dive/jump/pro pay. Your time is 99.69% focused on classes and MCAT prep. You don’t have to do any official military functions at a base, additional duties, or anything else. You still have to do PT tests and physicals but other than that you’re just a full-time student. ABUs only once a week.
Is it worth it?
This is a pretty good deal if you’re willing to accept the duration of education and the incurred active duty service commitments. Signing up for this program is equitable to signing up for a full career as a military doc. The EMDP2, med school, residency, and active duty commitments combined averages out at about 18 years total. Take this with a grain of salt, as time can decrease or increase depending on residency length and whether or not you choose to go USUHS vs HPSP. If you avoid a residency and go HPSP you’ll owe about 13 years. If you go to USUHS and want to be a neurosurgeon you’re looking at 23 years minimum.
There are clearly other routes to take that result in becoming a physician but if you’re enlisted and are interested in becoming a doc in the military, this program is worth looking at.
Most other questions can be answered from the FAQ on myPers but feel free to ask me on the forum as well. I’ll try to get some info out on the PJ med newsletter soon with my personal contact info on there as well.