TCOM students who serve their country
By Alex Branch
All Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates go on to serve the communities in which they practice medicine. But each year, several also elect to serve their country.
Five 2019 graduates of UNT Health Science Center’s original medical school will train at U.S. military medical institution residency programs.
Jill Allen, Erika Hallak, Zachary Gottlieb, Katelyn Johnson and Blake Harrell will practice at Air Force Bases or Navy Medical Centers across the country.
The students earned military Health Professions Scholarship Programs that supported them in medical school. After training at a military center, they’ll practice for at least three years at a domestic or international military base as a condition of the scholarship.
“It’s a great program because the scholarships cover the cost of our tuition and even supply a living stipend, so we don’t graduate with debt,” said Hallak, who will train at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. “But it also fulfills our desire to serve our country and help keep our active duty military personnel and veterans healthy.”
Students on military scholarship have to meet physical requirements and complete commissioned officer training, where they learn leadership skills, military history, and to march and salute and more.
At Nellis Air Force Base, Hallak will get to practice flight and operational medicine to keep U.S. airman and airwoman airborne. Fluent in Spanish, she hopes to participate in Air Force humanitarian and international health projects after residency.
TCOM students headed into the military consider their assignments an honor, Hallak said.
“I know each one of us is looking forward to wearing our uniforms into work each day,” she said.