This site serves to provide information and support to former service members interested in the UNC M.D. program and Medic to PA program
-Part I: About the effort-
The “US Veteran, M.D.” initiative is an effort by the UNC Military Medicine Interest Group and the School of Medicine admissions department to provide former service members with information about the application requirements, the admissions process, and the new TEC curriculum of the M.D. program at UNC. This effort also aims to support former service members of all branches of the military who are actively applying or plan to apply to the M.D. program.
We firmly believe that veterans have demonstrated a significant work ethic and dedication to service through their time in the armed forces, and encourage all interested former service members to consider a career in the field of medicine. This page provides information about Veteran recruitment at UNC, as well as provide former service members with the information they need for considering application to UNC.
-Who Veterans Can Contact for Information about UNC SOM-
Any veteran with questions about the new TEC curriculum, what medical school is like, or any other general questions are welcome to contact the Military Medicine Interest Group leadership at the contact information at the bottom of this page. Our group includes former service members, health professions scholarship program (HPSP) students, and students with no current military affiliation, and we are glad to provide insight from all of those varying perspectives. Group members are happy to discuss with veterans considering applying how to best get through the required science coursework, prepare for the MCAT, and be competitive to apply to medical school at UNC or elsewhere.
In addition to the Military Medicine Interest Group, there are several university wide organizations dedicated to helping veterans navigate their undergraduate and/or graduate studies at UNC, including the Student Veteran Assistance Program, the Veteran Resources Team, and the Carolina Veterans Organization. Please visit the Office of the Dean of Students website for more information about all of the resources provided by UNC.
-Part II: Information for Prospective Applicants-
For veterans considering applying to UNC or any other medical schools, it is important to understand the programs’ admissions timeline, selection criteria, and expectations with regard to prerequisites, applicant GPA, medical and non-medical work experiences, MCAT scores, and of course letters of recommendation. For more information about these expectations at UNC after viewing the information below, please visit the “Our Admissions Process” link under the “General Information” tab on the MD program admissions site.
-Admissions Timeline Overview-
Before applying, an understanding of the general admissions timeline can be helpful, as outlined here. A more detailed description of what an applicant must do can be found below the selection criteria under the heading “Details of Applying”.
First, applicants complete the required coursework, build their resume with experiences, gather letters of recommendation, and usually take the MCAT before submitting (though many have not yet had their MCAT testing date) a primary application on the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS) website.
Then, applicants who have a competitive GPA, MCAT score, and work experiences will then be issued secondary or supplemental applications with institution-specific essay questions from the specific medical schools that are interested in them, which serve to give the schools a better understanding of the applicants’ goals and motivation for applying.
After reviewing the primary and supplemental applications, the admissions committee considers bringing in applicants for interviews with students and faculty members in the following fall and winter. The interview offers a chance for current members of the School of Medicine ‘family’ to get to know each individual applicant in a more personal manner than any written application.
Finally, the admissions committee then weighs the cumulative information gathered from the primary and supplemental application, as well as the interview day to view each applicant as an individual, seeing each applicant as a whole person- much more than simply the numbers (GPA, MCAT etc.) they have received. With thoughtful consideration, students are eventually either accepted, denied, or offered a position on a list of alternate students, a “waitlist”.
Throughout the application process, and even while simply considering the prospect of application, it is important to understand what UNC is looking for in applicants to be accepted to matriculate into the MD program, as described by the UNC Admissions Department ‘Selection Criteria’ below:
- Academic Record
- MCAT Scores (MCAT Requirements)
- Experience in Health Care
- Extracurricular Activities
- Life/Work Experiences
- Letters of Recommendation
- Communication Skills
Once a prospective student has an understanding of the application process, and what experiences, accomplishments, and qualities will make him/her a competitive applicant, he/she can begin their own individual application process.
-Details of the Steps of Applying-
Complete basic requirements:
As described previously, the first step before applying is to ensure that all prerequisite courses and the MCAT have been completed:
Courses in Biology, General and Organic Chemistry, and Physics ALL with laboratory components, as well as English and Behavioral or Social Sciences courses are required in varying quantities of hours. Coursework in Biochemistry is suggested, but not required. Specific coursework and detailed hour requirements, as well as requirements for MCAT examination scores and other requirements can be accessed under the “Requirements” tab on the MD program admissions website.
As for the MCAT, general information about the test, detailed instructions for registration, and suggestions for preparation can be found on the American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) website.
Complete Primary Application:
Once all baseline requirements of coursework and testing are met, and the applicant feels he/she has made him/herself a competitive applicant based on the UNC Selection Criteria, he/she can then visit the AMCAS website to begin their primary applications. Throughout filling out the information required for the primary applications on AMCAS, it is important that applicants regularly visit the UNC “Our Admissions Process” page on the MD program admission site for information about specific letters of recommendation requirements for UNC. After completing the AMCAS primary application, gathering letters of recommendation, and ensuring that all requirements on the MD program admissions page have been met, the applicant can submit their primary application. The admissions process will then proceed as described above.
Complete Supplementary Application:
Provided to applicants by UNC, this additional information and the included essay questions help the admission committee evaluate applicants in a manner more specific to our program and values.
Complete Interview Day:
Applicants will be welcomed to UNC for a day of interviews with faculty members and/or student interviewers, which help the admissions committee get to know the student on a more personal level and better judge how a student would fit at UNC.
Receive Admissions Decision: Accepted, Denied, or Alternate/Waiting list.
The information included above is significantly condensed, so for more in-depth information about the prerequisites, admissions criteria, and application timeline of the program, please visit the M.D. program admissions page. If veterans have questions about specific items in their application, use the following email link to contact our extremely knowledgeable, welcoming and warm admissions team member, Ms. Randee Reid, who will be most helpful in answering their questions.
-Information about the MED and Medic to PA Programs-
The MED program offered by the Office of Special Programs has proved an important step towards a career in medicine or dentistry for former service members and other students with varying levels of training and experience in a diverse number of fields. As described on the OSP website, the MED program is “an intensive educational experience and challenging opportunity to gain insight into the realities of attending medical or dental school”, and “is designed to increase opportunities in the health professions for individuals who demonstrate educational promise and commitment to a health career but who have lacked the opportunity in the past in moving toward their professional goals”. Former service members are encouraged to seek additional information about the MED summer program and consider applying for admission on the Office of Special Programs website concerning MED.
The Medic to PA program is an upcoming opportunity for Army Medics returning from deployment to earn their Physicians’ Assistant degree and prepare for a civilian career with the financial support of UNC and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, as described in an article from 2012 available on the Allied Health Sciences website. For information about the Medic to P.A. Program at UNC, please visit the program website or the program “Frequently Asked Questions” page.
This page is constantly updated, please direct any questions to Gabe Mason at email@example.com