This episode features Micaela Cuneo, a 2018 graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear all about Micaela’s decision to attend an Academy as a unique path towards medical school. We explore the many ups and downs she experienced while at the Academy, including preparing for the MCAT while also maintaining her regular academic and military responsibilities, as well as her transition from Service Academy life in the mountains of Colorado to med school at sea level in Florida. Michaela’s story is a great example of how the Federal Service Academies can really set you up for any career path you choose – all you need is persistence and dedication to your goals. Enjoy the show!


  • Moving from sea level to the mountains for school
  • What it’s like to pursue medical school while attending an Academy
  • Managing Academy life while also dealing with outside struggles
  • Learning to ask for help
  • Transitioning from an Academy to a regular college for medical school
  • What it’s like to be both a doctor and a military officer


  • Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
  • Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?

2:00 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the US Air Force Academy?
  • Were you going to choose the doctor path even if you didn’t go to an Academy?
  • Do you have to defer your service to go to medical school?
  • Is the medical school path an option to all students going to the Air Force Academy?
  • Did you consider other Academies?
  • Was it difficult for you to get into the Academy?

13:40 PART II:

  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
  • How did things go for you that first summer?
  • How did academics go for you?
  • Getting a concussion while at the Academy.

22:50 PART III:

  • Highlights of her time at the Academy.
  • Were you able to take mostly pre-med classes?
  • What did your minor in Russian entail?
  • What did your time in Latvia entail?
  • Are there other language immersion programs you could take at the Academy?
  • Did you feel like you made a lot of close connections during your time at the Academy?

32:00 PART IV:

  • When did you find out you got into med school?
  • Were there any other low-lights at the Academy?
  • Dealing with loss at the Academy.
  • Studying for the MCAT while at the Academy.

41:47 PART V:

  • Lessons learned at the Academy that she took into med school.
  • What was the first month or two like transitioning from Academy life into an environment that’s more like a regular college?
  • Did you feel prepared when you started academics in med school?
  • Advantages to going to med school right from an Academy.
  • How do you feel about going back into military service full time after med school?


  • So how do you currently feel about your decision to attend a Federal Service Academy?
  • Does it feel strange that you dove into med school right out of an Academy?
  • What’s next for you?
  • Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
  • What’s one random fun fact about you?
  • Where can people reach you?

Twitter: @the_real_mcuneo 



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