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Military scholars from the Class of 2024 share why they chose to commission with the U.S. Armed Forces and what their next steps in training will look like in military residency programs.

Military Match 2024: Six students to enter residency programs at military medical centers

Military Match image with flag and stethoscope

While most members of the Indiana University School of Medicine Class of 2024 must wait until Match Day on March 15 to learn their residency placements, six soon-to-be graduates already know where they are headed for their next steps in medical training.

As scholars with the U.S. Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), these students are commissioned in the Air Force, Army or Navy and will complete residency training at military medical centers. Fewer than 1% of IU’s medical students participate in the military scholarship program, which pays for students’ tuition and learning materials, plus a monthly stipend, in exchange for a period of service following graduation.

“They have extra steps to complete like basic training and meeting physical standards,” said IU School of Medicine Lead Advisor Kristen Heath, MS. “There are challenges to doing this program that other medical students don’t face.”

Most say they were inspired by relatives who served in the Armed Forces or became military doctors; a few are forging their own path. They all share a passion for service to country and community.


Janice Cox, Psychiatry, U.S. Air Force, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (Fort Cavazos, Texas)

“I have friends and family members who serve in the Air Force, Army and Navy; thus, I was able to gain great insight into how each branch operates,” said Janice Cox, who will receive training in psychiatry at Darnall Army Medical Center near Houston. “Ultimately, I decided that the Air Force was the best fit for me.”

Janice Cox headshotQ: What personal challenges have you overcome to get to where you are today?

A: One of my greatest challenges was having to repeat my first year of medical school. Failing is a taboo topic in medicine since we are extremely driven individuals who excelled consistently prior to starting this journey. Thus, my confidence in my academic abilities took a huge hit. However, I knew that I wanted to become a physician more than anything, so I was willing to remediate and do what had to be done to continue evolving as a lifelong learner. To those of you who are struggling, please reach out for help and rely on your support system. … Remember that a setback does not define your past, present or future.

Q: How have your military training and experiences enhanced your medical education?

A: During my commissioned officer training for the Air Force, I learned and actively practiced what it means to be a team player. We as individuals could not move forward without first considering our teammates. That included being on time for morning formation, eating meals together, maintaining our living space, and overcoming obstacle courses that tested our leadership abilities. Since that experience, being a team player has always been something I prioritize.

Q: What are you most looking forward to during residency?

A: I am ecstatic to serve the troops and their families. I truly see my new role as a unique honor to provide mental health care to those sacrificing their lives and time to serve our country. One of the coolest experiences I had during my away rotation at my program was witnessing the team members of different disciplines and assigned support soldiers come together to ensure the soldier had a discharge plan that demonstrated our care for them and desire to help them continue the mission.


Hunter McCollum, Neurology, U.S. Air Force, Brooke Army Medical Center (Fort Sam Houston, Texas)

Hunter McCollum in uniform by American flag

Hunter McCollum knew he wanted to serve in the military long before he decided to become a doctor.

“Once I realized I could accomplish both goals simultaneously (through the HSPS program), it became my sole focus.” Soon he will be heading to San Antonio to train in neurology.

Q: What organizations, activities or initiatives were you involved with during medical school?

A: I worked with an organization named Operation Combat Bikesaver that helps connect veterans with a number of different peer-support based initiatives. We published work about the effectiveness of the program and presented the findings to my local congressperson to help the program gain access to funding. Additionally, I was the regional chair of the IU Neurology Student Interest Group.

Q: How do you feel your IU School of Medicine education has prepared you for your next steps in residency?

A: I feel as though IU has done a wonderful job of preparing me for intern year and beyond. They have provided me with a wonderful foundation of clinical knowledge and expertise that I hope to continue to build throughout my career.

Q: What was your initial reaction to your residency placement?

A: I had the pleasure of doing an interview rotation with the neurology program at Brooke Army Medical Center, and it was my first choice for match, so I was ecstatic. … I am looking forward to all of the new relationships and growing together with my coresidents.


Javier Rohrer, Internal Medicine, U.S. Army, Brooke Army Medical Center (Fort Sam Houston)

Javier Rohrer in military uniformA Cuban American who grew up in St. Louis, Javier Rohrer is excited to get away from the cold when he soon moves to San Antonio for residency training in internal medicine. “It was my No. 1 pick,” he said of the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston.

Q: Why did you decide to commission with the military through the Armed Forces HPSP program?

A: My uncle was an Army doctor. It was one of the most transformative experiences he had as a doctor, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become a doctor?

A: Taking care of my grandmother, Ofelia, helped me realize my love for science and the humanities. My role in her care was her part-time caretaker. I was in college at the time, and I sacrificed a lot of my time taking care of Ofelia; it meant spending my early 20s, a time typical for partying, with my grandmother instead of my peers. I never regret it, though. Ofelia’s care was trying in the best and worst of ways, and I learned I liked working with people, not things. Seeing and taking care of Ofelia as she passed informed me a lot about life and where people need to be helped. … That process is why I decided to go into medicine.


More Military Matches

These IU medical students also matched into residency programs at military bases in the West: 

  • Andrea Noriega, Emergency Medicine, U.S. Army, Brooke Army Medical Center (Fort Sam Houston, Texas)
  • Jared Routsong, Internal Medicine, U.S. Army, Madigan Army Medical Center (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington) 
  • Benjamin Wampler, General Surgery, U.S. Army, William Beaumont Army Medical Center (Fort Bliss, Texas)
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Laura Gates

Laura is senior writer with the Office of Strategic Communications and loves to tell the stories of outstanding students, faculty and staff at IU School of Medicine. A native Hoosier, she has over 25 years of experience in communications, having worked with newspapers and other media organizations in Indiana and Florida, along with small businesses, community groups and non-profit organizations. Before joining IU School of Medicine in January 2020, she was editor-in-chief of a lifestyle magazine serving the community of Estero, Florida.