Shania Bennett endured the educational rigors of her first yr of medical college. Then, as a substitute of slowing down for the summer time, she did one thing few UC Davis medical college students will ever do. 

UC Davis Medical Student Shania Bennett wearing her U.S. Air Force fatigues
Shania Bennett enrolled at UC Davis College of Medication and virtually concurrently entered the U.S. Air Power

She braved a army bootcamp often known as Officer Coaching College. 

Bennett was up at 4:30 a.m. day by day. She routinely ran 1.5 miles. She crammed dozens of pushups and crunches towards a 60-second timer. And he or she sat in school rooms for infinite hours to study army service, legal guidelines and the mission of the Air Power. 

The Officer Coaching College was grueling, however she isn’t complaining. Bennett is amongst a choose group of scholars within the army program that pays her medical college tuition and month-to-month bills. In change, she offers army service throughout summers and the primary 4 years of her post-residency profession. 

She is a part of the army’s Well being Professions Scholarship Program, or HPSP. 

“At first, it’s a little bit scary to make the choice to affix,” Bennett mentioned. However her devotion for service, mixed with the scholarship, put her in a win-win state of affairs: “I’ve been in a position to stay with out debt, which is a big stress that’s been relieved.” 

Stem cell analysis influences determination to review drugs

Bennett, now a second-year medical pupil, was raised in Fiddletown, a neighborhood of simply 250 folks in Amador County. As a youngster, she by no means considered following her brother into the army, however she discovered alternatives to shadow surgeons in close by Jackson and, throughout school, in faraway Spain. 

She acquired into San Diego State College as a nursing main, then switched to premed, fascinated by a uncommon alternative for 10 undergraduate college students to carry out stem cell analysis. The grant, a part of Proposition 14, allowed her to work aspect by aspect with graduate college students, researchers and physicians in the hunt for stem cell therapies. 

“It was actually intimidating at first,” Bennett mentioned. “The lab’s principal investigator was an M.D./Ph.D., and the group was so extremely good – and right here I walked in with virtually no expertise.” 

She utilized to quite a few medical colleges, uncertain if any would need her. She obtained 5 acceptance letters, the final being from UC Davis, her dream college. 

Subsequent, she needed to learn to finance her schooling. That’s when she got here throughout the army program that covers tuition, charges, textbooks, provides – and even offers a month-to-month stipend. Whereas on scholarship, college students spend 45 days on energetic responsibility a yr. After commencement, students are required to serve one yr of energetic responsibility for annually they obtain the scholarship. 

After consulting together with her brother, an airman, Bennett determined to use for this system, and acquired in. 

Devoted to place service earlier than self

Bennett admires the core values of the Air Power, which suggests she places service earlier than self, and carries out her duties with integrity and excellence. “That actually resonates with me,” she mentioned. 

Final summer time’s coaching in Montgomery, Alabama, was difficult, but Bennett scored on the prime of her class for bodily agility amongst ladies, thanks partially to her means to crank out 54 pushups in a minute. 

Air Force 2nd Lt. Shania Bennett receives a diploma from a flight instructor for having successfully completed Officer Training School Class 22-07
Shania Bennett, on proper, in U.S. Air Power uniform, receives a diploma from an teacher for finishing Officer Coaching College

Subsequent summer time, when classmates in Sacramento will serve in scientific rotations, she’ll be in Texas for a course in aerospace drugs. 

Shortly after that, Bennett will make some vital selections about her future: She’ll want to decide on whether or not to hunt a residency program within the army, or at a standard civilian tutorial medical middle, or be open to both. 

Bennett aspires to be a surgeon, dermatologist or emergency drugs doctor. 

If she chooses to match within the army, the Air Power can ship her wherever after commencement, together with conserving her at UC Davis, which has a residency program with David Grant Medical Heart at Travis Air Power Base in Fairfield. 

Regardless of the place she does her residency, she’ll find yourself working in a army setting afterward for no less than 4 years. She is going to serve in energetic responsibility throughout that point. 

“It’s onerous as a result of this might doubtlessly be a 12-year dedication at this level from now,” she mentioned. “However I like to journey, and I like going to new locations.”  

Volunteering at Willow Clinic, which serves veterans

She additionally likes to volunteer. 

Bennett is a co-director of Willow Clinic, a UC Davis College of Medication student-run clinic that cares for underserved sufferers in a Salvation Military Constructing in Sacramento. 

This week, she’s busy with different college students making ready to host a Veterans Day Well being Honest on the Veterans of International Wars Submit 67, situated close to UC Davis Medical Heart on Stockton Boulevard. 

The free well being truthful options normal well being exams, flu pictures, vouchers for eyeglasses from VSP, haircuts, garments, meals and low.  

The annual occasion is yet one more method that Bennett provides again to the neighborhood, and with an emphasis on veterans. 

“I’ve a lot pleasure for our nation and a lot love for different service members and sacrifices they make behind the scenes that lots of people don’t perceive,” she mentioned. “I understand how blessed I’m to be in the USA.” 


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