“I am Lieutenant Jasmine Scott, a fourth year medical student at the Uniformed Services University (USU).”
Prior to arriving at USU in August 2016 to pursue her Doctor of Medicine degree, Scott served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. “I joined the JAG Corps after law school because I knew I wanted to serve my country,” said Scott. Students like Scott who already hold military commissions at higher ranks are required to accept temporary administrative demotion to O-1 for medical school at USU.
Immediately before coming to USU, she was living in Hawaii where she was assigned to the Commander, Pacific Fleet’s legal team working a variety of different legal matters including military justice, ethics and admiralty law. Her other duty stations included JTF-Guantanamo, Regional Legal Service Office in San Diego, and an assignment as an individual augmentee to the 4th Brigade of the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan.
“My experience in Afghanistan changed the course of what I wanted to accomplish with my professional life. After being downrange and seeing the destructive forces of combat and the toll it takes on the individual Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, I decided I needed to pursue a career where I could help repair the damage.”
Scott went on to describe her experience accompanying battalion and brigade commanders to the bedside of injured soldiers solidified her decision. “I knew from those experiences in Afghanistan that it didn’t matter how long the road would be for a history major turned attorney like me with no science background. My path in life was to serve as a military physician.”
Because of her time away from the classroom and the unique aspects of medical education, she found the initial in-classroom academic period of medical school challenging. “I had to change my learning style from my prior experience in undergrad and law school,” said Scott, “USU has been an amazing place to learn, grow and develop into a military physician.”
Scott will begin her residency in orthopedic surgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego this month. “I chose orthopedic surgery because it is a wartime critical specialty and because I have seen first-hand the effect orthopedic surgeons can have improving a patient’s quality of life after injuries, whether sustained at home or on the battlefield.” When asked about her role supporting readiness of the fleet, she drew similarities to her time in the JAG Corps. “Coming from another staff corps community, I know the best thing a staff corps member can bring to the fight is unsurpassed competence in their specialty,” Scott continued, “Now as a soon-to-be physician, the best thing I can do to serve the fleet is be the absolute best orthopedic surgeon I can be.”