By Maj. Jessie Valdez, 62nd Medical BrigadeMarch 9, 2018
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington -- Growing up in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Sgt. Santosh Kachhepati dreamed of becoming a doctor. That dream is on its way to becoming reality thanks to Kachhepati's self-determination and discipline, and a selective military opportunity.
Kachhepati, a combat medic with the 62nd Medical Brigade, was recently selected to attend the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, or EMDP2.
The 31-year old will start the program at George Mason University, in Virginia, this fall. EMDP2, a post-baccalaureate 2-year resident training program for enlisted members of the Armed Forces, will provide Kachhepati an opportunity to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test and meet the course prerequisites for medical school admission.
Kachhepati came to the United States to attend college at the University of Texas at Arlington. He graduated U.T.'s Nursing Program with Honors in 2013. He enlisted in Army in 2014 through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program, which allows certain qualified non-citizens to enlist in the U.S. military and thereby gain eligibility for U.S. citizenship.
During Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Kachhepati learned about EMDP2 and devoted himself to prepare to be a strong candidate.
Kachhepati completed Air Assault School, earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, and graduated from the Basic Leaders Course on the Commandant's List in a span of just 60 days in 2016. Last October, he placed Runner Up in the Regional Health Command -- Pacific Best Medic Competition, and went onto participate in the Army's Best Medic Competition 2017 at Ft. Sam Houston.
"(Kachhepati is) a great young leader with overwhelming potential to impact today's Medical Corps," said Col. Robert Forsten, commander, 62nd Medical Brigade.
Kachhepati remains humble despite his successes.
"I consider this opportunity to be an Army Physician an honor and a privilege to serve the medical needs of our Soldiers who risk their lives protecting this nation, the Family Members who support them, and the many Veterans who have come before them," he said.
Kachhepati's desire to help others through medicine is complemented by his belief in the Karma philosophy of "do good to others, then good things happen to you", as well as, "treat everyone as you want to be treated," he said.
Currently, Kachhepati's sights are set on becoming a trauma surgeon or cardiologist, but he admits that he has a lot of work to do.
"The road ahead is going to be full of numerous sleepless nights and never-ending assignments and exams," he said. "I just pray that I will have the determination and strength to continue going and meet new mentors that will guide me."
Each branch of service administers its own requirements for selecting the best candidates into the program. Minimum requirements include a baccalaureate or master's degree from an accredited institution with at least 3.2 grade point average.
Servicemembers interested in applying for the program can visit www.usuhs.edu/emdp2 on the World Wide Web. The program is administered by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. According to its Web site, the university serves as the nation's federal health professions academy.