Long-term Health Education and Training: Do’s and Don’ts MAJ Michelle Colacicco-Mayhugh, PhD Outline • What is best for me? – Is this the right thing for me? – What are the consequences on my career? • • • • • LTHET application process Application to school(s) Surviving a program My experience Questions What is best for me? • Is LTHET the best thing for me? – Do I really need this to meet my personal & professional goals – How will this affect family, etc. • What are the potential consequences on my career? – Timing of promotion boards – Opportunity for other assignments LTHET Application Process • LTHET MILPER Message comes out approx. 18 months prior to school start • Follow LTHET directions explicitly • Requires: – – – – – – DA Form 3838 Commander’s memorandum Transcripts (not in IPerms) DA Photo GRE Consultant’s endorsement • If you plan on applying, plan ahead for the GRE Application to School(s) • Try to visit schools and meet potential major professors early in the process – ID potential projects early in the process – Make sure there is research funding in advance – Try to find a major professor who has experience getting military entomologists through a program successfully – Do not wait until you are already in your program to start seriously thinking about research • Be proactive with the admissions office – An RFO cannot be generated without an acceptance letter – If possible, ask for advanced consideration of your application Surviving a Program • Expect to work harder than you have in any previous position • Limit distractions – The mission is clear and simple…earn the degree – Try to avoid over committing yourself: • Committee memberships • Side projects • Remain proactive – If the program permits, try to test out of courses for which you already have experience – Complete qualifying exams, defend proposal, etc. as early in the program as possible My Experience • Attended USUHS – Dual military considerations – Ability to tie into research programs at WRAIR • Started working with people at USUHS and WRAIR before I started school to identify potential research projects Spring 04: Applied to LTHET Fall 04: Selected for LTHET Applied to Schools Jan 05: Received acceptance Mar 05: RFO received Orders cut Credits Elective Courses Credits Biostastics I, II, and III 13 Epidemiology II 4 Changing Patterns of Arthropod Borne Disease 4 GIS in Public Health 2 Environmental Health 4 Remote Sensing Methods for Public Health 3 Epidemiology I 4 Acarology 4 Malaria Epidemiology and Control 3 Epidemiology and Control of Arboviruses 2 Medical Parasitology 3 Biosystematics 2 Principles and Practices of Tropical Medicine 6 Physiological Parameters of Vector Competence 4 Ethics 1 Sand Flies and Disease 3 Scientific Writing 1 Journal Club 5 Total Credits 39 Total Credits 29 Core Courses My Experience • Qualifying exams (written and oral): 12 – 24 months after beginning program, after coursework is complete • Proposal defense: After qualifying exam, before research begins Jul 05: Started at USUHS Mar 07: Qualifying Exams (oral and written) May 07: 2nd Child Born Jun 07: Proposal Defense Jul 07 – Dec 08: Research &Writing Feb 08: Spouse deployed Feb 09: Thesis submitted to grad school Jan 09: WRAIR Feb 09: Spouse home Mar 09: Private Defense Apr 09: Public Defense My lessons learned • Be proactive in the application process • Communicate with advisor and committee regularly • Write proposal and plan research early to allow for a fast start once all blocks have been checked • Accept that you have limits and learn to recognize them • If you need help, ask early • Make the most of any free time available Acknowledgements • Thanks to MAJ Anthony Schuster, MAJ Brian Evans, and CPT(P) Jeff Clark for insights into their experiences Questions? Disclaimer: Material has been reviewed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. There is no objection to its presentation and/or publication. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author, and are not to be construed as official, or as reflecting true views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.