How Do You Become a Doctor After Military Service?

Military Doctor If your goal is to become a doctor after military service, it is critical that you find out what types of programs exist that cater to veterans. After spending several years of your life seeing the world and protecting your country, it is time to decide what you would like to do with your life when you become a civilian. If your aspiration in life is to become a medical doctor who treats either service members or civilians, it is time to learn how you can apply the skills you gained in service to your medical school experience. Here are the steps that you must take to become a physician who diagnoses and treats ailments.

Use Your GI Bill Benefits to Pay for Undergraduate Studies

Eligible members of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard can all receive tuition assistance to pay for the cost of training or formal degree programs, according to This assistance can be used while serving or more commonly after your service ends and may help to pay for 100% of the educational expenses incurred.

When you want to become a medical doctor, you will need to start your formal training mission by enrolling in a respected and accredited bachelor’s degree program. You do not have to choose any specific major, but it can be helpful to take a premedical program majoring in areas like biology and chemistry. This is because you will need to show you have a strength in sciences to start a career as a student in medical college.

Take Your Admissions Test and Apply to Medical School

It is very important to take your undergraduate program seriously because your academic performance along with your past military service will be considered as you apply to medical school. While you can become an MD at any accredited medical school, the reputation of a school that trains physicians is more important than the reputation of any other type of school.

Take your time to research schools and look for those that target veteran students. You will need to take an MCAT admissions test to show that you can handle the curriculum before entry into the program, according to Kaplan. You should also highlight different qualities about yourself that were attained in the military to stand out with admissions council members. Some of the qualities med schools are looking for include: leadership, commitment, diversity, maturity, focus, and practical experience.

Complete Medical School and Decide What Setting You Want to Work in

Once you are accepted into school, you must be prepared to commit a great deal of time to your studies. It can take 7 to 12 years to complete medical school, residency requirements and then post-graduate classes if you want to specialize in an area of medicine. You must complete the classroom work first and then complete clinical training near the second half of the degree program. Once you complete your residency, you will be prepared to practice on your own.

Related Resource: Nurse After Military Service

The demand for doctors is on the rise. Since many service members have difficulty with employment after they leave the military, earning a degree and using the financial assistance that is available to you is wise. If you have what it takes to become a doctor after military service, it is time to map out the route that you will take to attain your goals.