Meet the Navy’s Enlisted to Medical Degree Program Inaugural Class

Editor’s Note: 2016 is the first year the Navy will participate in the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland. EMDP2 is a two-year program that provides an opportunity for academically-promising enlisted service members to complete preparatory coursework that will make them competitive medical school applicants. The following five sailors make up the inaugural Navy EMPD2 class.

1. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Hanyuan Liu

PO2 Liu H OfficialWhat is your current job in the Navy?

I am a hospital corpsman and surgical technologist by trade. My current position is the “enlisted clinical coordinator” for the main operating room at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa in Okinawa, Japan. I supervise and schedule 28 Sailors around a nine room operating room suite. The operating room provides care to approximately 3,000 surgical patients annually.

What led you to apply the EMDP2 program?

I see health care as one of the most noble and rewarding professions there is and I’ve always strived and encouraged personal growth in myself and others. EMDP2 combines health care and personal growth for my career and that in itself, convinced me to apply for it.

What do you feel set you apart from other applicants?

I think what really set myself apart from other applicants is not my personal accomplishments but the qualities I tried to instill in my colleagues and junior Sailors. Personal integrity and self-discipline are necessary for any successful individual. However, being in the medical field, I believe an even more critical element of success is a sense of empathy and selflessness.

What do you hope to accomplish after completing this program?

Through the Navy EMDP2 program, I ultimately desire to serve others and make meaningful contributions to the world. I am convinced the Navy not only is an effective peace-keeping instrument but also a strong force multiplier for positive contributions to humanity. I believe my own aspirations are aligned with the Navy’s mission and I look forward to new challenges in the future.

2. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Emily PoeEmily Poe Select

What is your current job in the Navy?

I am currently an executive aide to the assistant chief of staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

What led you to apply the EMDP2 program?

I joined the Navy with the long-term goal to become a military physician. I had no school under my belt, so I decided to join as an enlisted Sailor to finish college and serve my country.

What do you feel set you apart from other applicants?

Since joining the military, I quickly advanced to petty officer 2nd class in under three years while simultaneously completing my bachelor’s degree in psychology.  I’ve had superb evaluations during my Navy career. I’ve been recognized as junior Sailor of the quarter and nominated as junior Sailor of the year. I work hard to support, mentor and lead junior Sailors and Soldiers within my command as well as pour into the community by volunteering my time for various events.

What do you hope to accomplish after completing this program?

After completing this program, I hope to be accepted to the Uniformed Services University of Health and Sciences and begin medical school.

3. Interpretive Cryptologic Technician 1st Class Michael Smith

Mike SmithWhat is your current job in the Navy?

I am a Chinese-Mandarin linguist in the Navy.  I transcribe, translate, and interpret text, graphic and audio of foreign language materials.

What led you to apply the EMDP2 program?

I wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember.  I was aware of the rigorous educational requirements and I saw the Navy as a path to achieving that goal. From the day I graduated boot camp, I had a singular focus on finishing my undergraduate degree as quickly as possible.  I graduated in May 2014 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese.  After graduation, I learned about EMDP2. When the program opened up to Sailors I was thrilled for the opportunity to apply and immediately submitted my package.

What do you feel set you apart from other applicants?

I can’t say with any certainty what set me apart from other applicants, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the only linguist to apply.  Linguistics is on the other end of the academic spectrum from medicine and my undergraduate degree in Chinese may have allowed me to stand out in that way.  Additionally, I worked very hard to maintain a high GPA, achieve strong test scores, and, ultimately, submit the most competitive application I could.

What do you hope to accomplish after completing this program?

Beyond getting accepted to medical school, I hope to narrow down my list of specializations and find myself in a rewarding and fulfilling field of medicine. Being a linguist has been a wonderful experience and has given me a unique set of skills, but I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of my Navy career and, eventually, achieve my dream of serving as a doctor in the Navy Medical Corps.

4. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Nicholas ToufexisNick Toufexis 2

What is your current job in the Navy?

I am a field medical training instructor at Field Medical Training Battalion East in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I train corpsmen to serve with Marines on the battlefield.

What led you to apply the EMDP2 program?

I have always wanted to become a doctor. This program will allow me the opportunity to become a doctor while staying in the Navy.

What do you feel set you apart from other applicants?

My background as an instructor in tactical medicine, which I feel would be beneficial while attending medical classes.

What do you hope to accomplish after completing this program?

My goal is to one day become a Navy emergency room physician.

5. Nuclear Machinist Mate 1st Class Chrystopher Young

Chys Young

What is your current job in the Navy?

I am currently a chemistry/radiological controls technician for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Right now I am stationed in Charleston, South Carolina as an instructor for the Nuclear Prototype Training Unit.

What led you to apply the EMDP2 program?

I applied to this program to get medical school pre-requisites and guidance on the application process. I’ve been taking some pre-requisites at my local community college in preparation for applying to medical school, however, they don’t have a pre-med advisor and I have been doing everything on my own. The EMDP2 program will allow me to focus solely on my studies and getting into medical school.

What do you feel set you apart from other applicants?

I think that being a nuclear-trained sailor and submariner helps me bring a different perspective to this program. I also feel that my grade point average, shadowing experience and willingness to pursue this on my own is what set me apart from other applicants.

What do you hope to accomplish after completing this program?

After completing this program, I hope to be accepted into the Uniform Services University of Health Sciences and specialize in orthopedic surgery