Military Medical Students Experience Grueling Final Exams Like No Other


The F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences gives military medical students possibly the most grueling final exams in the field. The nation’s medical school for military service members pushes fourth year medical students to the absolute limits with battlefield simulations that ultimately culminate in an incident that is as similar to a mass-casualty event as possible. There is even the inclusion of explosions, screaming, smoke, gunfire and fake blood…lots of fake blood.

This is a rather intense way to put military medical students through the paces, but according to Arthur Kellermann, dean of the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, β€œIt’s the most important week of medical school. It’s a week when students take every challenge instructors can think to throw at them.”

This is the nations only medical school that caters to the precise needs of the military and currently has over 1,200 students in training for positions from nursing to doctor. Each students exchanges the high cost of tuition with the pledge to use the skills earned at the school in service as an active duty service member. Some students already have solid footing in the military while some are completely new, but both are equally as welcome and more than welcome.

The chief academic officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, John Prescott, states that all students learn the same skills that doctors at any other medical school does. β€œThe school is preparing them to work in hostile environments, to work and think with an international perspective, to think with a public-health understanding,” he said.

So, basically, these doctors in training will be able to deliver a baby, perform stitches and a variety of other medical interventions while also being skilled in hand-to-hand combat and fire a weapon.

Once this final stage of mock battlefield is overcome by fourth year medical students, it’s off to residency and from there possibly a real combat zone.

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