Susan Kahane, who is twenty-two, graduated from Columbia last spring. When she took the MCAT, in August, she checked a box to signal that she wished to receive information about outside sources of financial aid. Soon, she was inundated with e-mails from the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force (“FREE MEDICAL SCHOOL!!!”). One, sent on January 31st by Captain Christopher D. Mayhugh, of the Army Medical Service Corps, stood out. “Upon finishing your residency,” the message read, “you will be assigned to one of a variety of locations including Germany, Italy and Hawaii and your obligation will be complete.” (The Medical Service Corps’s Web page, in contrast, notes prominently that its officers have participated in combat operations in Korea, Kosovo, Somalia, Panama, and Iraq.)Ah. Yeah.
Mayhugh’s omission of Iraq, Kahane recalled last week, “seemed a little bit strange.” Still, she said, “These e-mails were often slightly tempting to me, because of my worries about paying for medical school.”
On March 14th, Kahane received another e-mail from Mayhugh, with the subject “Medical school scholarships still available.” This time, rather than invoking European and tropical destinations, Mayhugh addressed the prospect of being posted to a less than desirable locale. “What if you get sent to Iraq?” he wrote in the letter’s final paragraph. He continued:Well, consider this: there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000. The rate in Washington, D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation’s Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.Kahane recalled, “After reading it once, I felt strongly that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.”
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!