Department of Air Force offers Total Force enlisted members’ bridge to med school, commission

  • Published
  • By Toni Whaley
  • Air Force’s Personnel Center Public Affairs

Total Force enlisted Airmen and Guardians wanting to become a commissioned officer and military healthcare provider can complete their preparatory coursework for admission to medical school while on active duty. 

The Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) is a two-year program offered through the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., to enlisted service members, including the Air Reserve Component, regardless of occupational specialty. Following successful completion of EMDP2 and selection for attendance by an accredited medical school, members will attend officer training school.

In many respects, the nation’s federal health professions academy curricula and educational experiences are similar to those of civilian academic health centers, with one important difference: its emphasis is on military health care, leadership, readiness and public health.

“This program is open to candidates who demonstrate integrity and are dedicated to becoming future physicians, leaders and scholars of the nation’s medical force,” said David Zemkosky, Physician Education senior program manager here. “Students are challenged with an outstanding leadership and ethics program in a multiservice environment to become the nation’s next generation of military leaders.”

The program components include post-baccalaureate pre-medical course-work, Medical College Admission Test preparation, clinical experience/physician shadowing, mentoring by physicians and medical students, and pre-health advising.

EMDP2 targets Airmen and Guardians in the grade of E-4 or above who have completed between three and 10 years of military service and have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited U.S. academic institution. The member must also have a competitive SAT or ACT score from within the last 5 years (2017 or later). Members must be eligible for reenlistment or extension and qualified for worldwide assignments. All requirements must be met by Sept. 30 of the application year.

There is no tuition for USUHS students; they repay their education through service to the nation by supporting and leading global health engagements. All service members incur a three-year obligation or active duty service commitment for EMDP2. Depending on the medical school source, members will incur an additional four or seven-year commitment served consecutively.

One of the most frequently asked questions is about education requirement waivers.

“Waivers are not considered for any of the academic requirements and are only considered for exceeding time in service and age requirements if extenuating circumstances prevented the member from applying earlier,” Zemkosky said. “The program is very intense and requires attendees to grasp concepts and information from day one of training. Having completed the undergraduate degree and other requirements is key in priming these future military health professionals and leaders for academic success.”

EMDP2 students who meet specific enrollment requirements during their first year in the program are required to apply for matriculation to USUHS’s F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine. Members will also have the opportunity to apply to other accredited U.S. medical schools after completing the first year.

For more information on EMDP2 and the application process, go to myPers at https://mypers.af.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/25699 and the Uniformed Services University’s website.

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