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    First EMDP2 Class Ready for Medical School

    First EMDP2 Class Ready for Medical School

    Photo By Andrew Damstedt | Kenneth Johnson and Joseph Merfeld receive their commission to the rank of second...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman William Phillips 

    Naval Support Activity Bethesda

    Five Airmen were commissioned to the rank of second lieutenant at a ceremony at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) June 23 marking the completion of their two years in the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2).

    The five Airmen were part of the inaugural EMDP2 cohort, which also included four Soldiers who received their commissions at a separate ceremony at Fort Sam Houston June 10.

    “It’s an honor being part of the first class,” said Airman 2nd Lt. Lindsay Slimski. “It’s something that I would never have dreamed in a million years. I always wanted to be a doctor but I never knew how to do it.”

    Slimski said she took pre-med courses before joining the Air Force 11 years ago, but because of finances didn’t continue to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor until she heard about the EMDP2 program. When she starts at USU, she said she is interested in neurology and radiology but admits that she could change her mind after being exposed to more options during medical school.

    USU President (Dr.) Charles Rice said the first EMDP2 class had exceeded the expectations of what this program was established to accomplish.

    “We’re so delighted to be able to recognize them and commission them as second lieutenants today,” Rice said.

    EMDP2 is a two-year program that enables highly-qualified enlisted service members to complete preparatory coursework to apply to medical school while maintaining active duty status. The courses are held at the George Mason University-Prince William campus in Manassas, Virginia.

    The U.S. Air Force was the first to sign off on the program, as was noted by keynote speaker retired Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis, USU senior vice president and former Air Force surgeon general.

    “I’m proud to have had a small part of this to say ‘Yep, the Air Force is in,’ which tends to be, and this is no slam on the other services, the Air Force tends to say that first, we just do,” Travis said.

    The other branches of the Armed Forces have joined in on the program. The twelve members of the second cohort consist of seven Soldiers, three Airmen and two Marines; and the third cohort includes seven Soldiers, six Airmen, five Sailors and one Marine.

    The program accepts enlisted service members who have a bachelor’s degree and are looking to apply to medical school. Each service has its own criteria for applying and selects its candidates.

    Travis said their enlisted experience will help them at USU.

    “Your service experience, your life experience — you have an obligation and I’m going to request it of you – don’t hold back, share it with those in your class of 2020 who have not had prior service,” Travis said. “The enlisted perspective that you bring to this is a level of maturity that is going to really benefit your class.”

    In addition to Slimski, the four other Airmen who received their commission as second lieutenants at the June 23 ceremony were Kenneth Johnson, Matthew Little, Jeremy Mears, and Joseph Merfeld.

    The four Soldiers who advanced to second lieutenant at the Fort Sam Houston ceremony were Claude ‘Alex’ Blereau, Stephen Capen, Steve Radloff and Joshua Richter.

    All nine of the EMDP2 graduates are starting their first year of medical school at USU in the fall.

    More information on the program is found on USU’s website at



    Date Taken: 06.23.2016
    Date Posted: 06.30.2016 14:54
    Story ID: 202896
    Location: BETHESDA, MD, US 

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