Q&A with Jonny Kim, MD, NASA Astronaut Candidate

When the 12 members of NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class report to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX for their two years of training, two of them—Dr. Jonny Kim and Dr. Frank Rubio—will leave behind medical careers for the chance to explore the final frontier. SDN recently spoke with Dr. Kim about his nontraditional path to medical school and his transition from emergency medicine resident to astronaut candidate.
Dr. Jonny Kim started his career in the US Navy, where he trained as a Navy SEAL and completed more than 100 combat missions, earning a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Combat “V”. He earned a degree in mathematics at the University of San Diego and his MD at Harvard Medical School. He is currently finishing the intern year of his residency in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. At the end of the two years of astronaut training, Dr. Kim and the other astronaut candidates could be assigned to any of a variety of posts furthering NASA’s mission.

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From Engineering to Army Dentistry: An Interview With Army Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS

Army Pledge

Some people know what they want to do with their lives from an early age. Others, like Army general dentist Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS., take a rather twisty path to get there.
Cotton majored in engineering in college, a far cry from her current profession of dentistry. But the real-life experience of her first career quickly fell short. “I worked for a few years as an engineer, and it was nice, I liked it, but it was still the same as sitting behind a desk. I didn’t get to work with a lot of people,” she explained to SDN last fall at the University of California Davis Pre-Health Conference (UCDPHC). “So I decided to go back to school.”

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Military Medicine: How Your Skills Can Best Serve Others

The goal is clear: become a doctor. It sounds simple, but the journey is long, exhausting, and busy. It involves countless nights spent studying instead of sleeping, days toiling in class or clinicals instead of socializing, and fact upon fact to remember so you can enter your career.
A doctor serves others tirelessly and utilizes a special set of skills. This service is at the heart of a doctor’s mission, but after years of schooling, you might feel like something’s missing. Maybe working all week at a family practice isn’t ideal for you. Fortunately, it’s possible to apply your physician’s skills in unexpected ways.

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20 Questions: MAJ Kendall Mower, DDS

MAJ Kendall Mower serves as a comprehensive dentist in the U.S. Army.  He is currently deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn and blogs about his experiences at http://armystrongstories.com/blogger/kendall-mower.

Why did you choose to become a dentist?
I can’t think of one specific event that led to my decision to be a dentist.  I had just decided during High School that I was going to be a dentist and my plan never changed.

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