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Carter Tisdale, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently matched in an early match program in the military.
The majority of medical students go through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to find out where they will be doing their residency training following graduation, but students who wish to match in the military participate in a specialty match program that takes place months before Match Day March 17.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Tisdale has served in the United States Air Force since 2013. Following graduation he will become a flight surgeon on active duty.
Tisdale matched at San Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he will complete his internship. “This intern year will set me up well for a two-to-three-year stint as a flight surgeon in the Air Force, as the year is designed to provide medical officers with the unique aspects of medical training in a military setting,” he said. “An Air Force flight surgeon is a general medical officer tasked with taking care of a base or unit’s pilots, personnel and families.”
Tisdale said the year will consist of training in internal medicine, aerospace medicine, orthopaedics, allergy and immunology, general surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine and intensive care.
According to Tisdale, serving as a flight surgeon prior to entering his specialty of choice will allow him to start paying back his service commitment and broaden his experiences. “The reason I ultimately decided to forego applying for ophthalmology straight out of medical school was because I knew I would most likely never do something as unique as flight medicine after training in a medical subspecialty,” he said. “After serving as an active duty medical officer for those few years, I plan to apply to the San Antonio Military Medical Center’s ophthalmology residency program.”
Although the Health Professions Scholarship Program initially sparked his interest in the military, Tisdale said he now has a deeper appreciation for his decision to pursue military medicine. “I joined the Air Force on blind faith, but I have gradually come to realize how well the lifestyle and culture fits me,” he said. “Regardless of where I am stationed, I will be able to do what I love: entering the lives of others within the context of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.”
During Honors Convocation in May, Tisdale will take the military oath of office and receive his new military rank coinciding with completion of his medical degree.
The remainder of the USA College of Medicine Class of 2017 will find out where they matched on Match Day, March 17, 2017. The event will take place at the Mobile Convention Center in downtown Mobile. Click here for more information.
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