Former Air Force ATC accepted to USU medical school
By Military Health System Communications Office, Defense Health Agency
/ Published March 11, 2016
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Back when she was an air traffic controller, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lindsay Slimski had a dream of serving in the medical field and no way to turn the dream into reality. Now she’s nearing the end of her enrollment in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ (USU) Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2) as part of the inaugural class of enlisted service members who are prepping to become medical professionals. She is also the first woman chosen for the program. “I’m very excited,” she said. “This program has really helped prepare me for med school.”
Slimski has a busy few months ahead: In June she'll be commissioned and head to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama for Commissioned Officer Training, and in August she starts USU's orientation course. EMDP2 is an Armed Forces program and a partnership between USU and George Mason University, Virginia. The 24-month program enables highly qualified enlisted service members to complete the preparatory coursework for application to medical school while maintaining active duty status.
“There’s no way that, without the EMDP2 program, I would’ve been able to make this happen for myself,” said Slimski. “It’s just so incredible; to think I was working in the Air Force as an air traffic controller, and now to be on the verge of being a medical professional.”
She also recalls difficulties during her upbringing that required her to move around often, and live with friends or relatives during her high school years. “The dream has always been there, but I just didn’t see a path as how this would happen,” said Slimski.
The Chicago native wants to study neurology. She developed a fascination with the human brain after suffering migraine headaches as a child. “I was always curious as to what it was inside my brain that was causing these annoying headaches,” said Slimski. “As I learned what was causing them, my fascination just grew, and inspired me to want to know more about the brain and how it works.”
Althea Green-Dixon, director of EMDP2, has been impressed by Slimski’s drive and dedication. “Lindsay is one of the most disciplined, resilient people I have ever met. She is an inspiration, not only to her classmates, but for all enlisted members who dream of becoming physicians. I am extremely proud to see her take her place in the next class of medical students at America's Medical School.”
Slimski also looks forward to reuniting with her husband, Air Force Tech Sgt. Donald Slimski, who is stationed in Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and settling down in the Washington metropolitan area with their young daughter. “I feel as if I’m living a dream: being a mom and wife, and getting paid to go through medical school,” she said. “I always thought it was a bit cliché, but I can now attest that indeed, with dedication and hard work, you can really accomplish whatever you set out to do.”