Marine Corps Base Quantico — A medical school preparatory program that has been open for several years to enlisted Air Force and Army personnel is now also open to enlisted Marines and sailors. According to a statement by Uniformed Services University of Health Services, the two-year program, known as EMDP2, is open to service members who already have a bachelor’s degree and maintained at least a 3.2 GPA while in school. Candidates will remain on active duty while attending school full-time, though since the program is based at George Mason University-Prince William Campus in Manassas, they will attend classes in civilian attire. They will take pre-medical school classes, such as biology and chemistry, as well as Medical College Admission Test preparatory classes. Students will also receive pre-medical school mentoring and have the opportunity for exposure to clinical settings.
Sharon Holland, Deputy Vice President for External Affairs at USUHS, stated that before completing EMDP2, students will apply to either USUHS in Bethesda or to a civilian medical school of their choosing under the Health Profession Scholarship. If they attend USUHS, they remain on active duty and are commissioned as officers prior to the beginning of school.
Service members who attend a civilian medical school are commissioned as officers before starting and receive full tuition and a stipend, but they will serve in an inactive Reserve status while in school and will not receive a full salary. Marines will be required to transfer to another branch of service before starting USUHS or civilian medical school, as the Marine Corps does not have its own healthcare professionals.
According to Army Lt. Col. Dr. Aaron Saguil, Associate Dean for Recruitment and Admissions at USUHS, should service members fail out of the preparatory program, they return to their previous unit and continue serving at their current rank. Should they fail out of medical school, it would be up to their parent service what to do with them. The payback required for successful completion of EMDP2 is service-specific, though the typical requirement is four years of obligated service for two years of education. The payback for attending USUHS is seven years, and for a civilian school it is four, with the clock starting after graduation in both cases.
Saguil stated in an email that while the Marine Corps has authorized Marines to participate in EMDP2, it has not yet allotted the training billets, so it is still unknown when Marines will actually be able to submit their applications for EMDP2.