I always believed that Leonard H McCoy in Star Trek TOS was granted a direct commission into Starfleet. He does not know the slang term dunsel used by midshipmen at Starfleet Academy in the episode "The Utlimate Computer." I presume that had he been a midshipman, McCoy would have been well versed in Starfeet Academy slang and he not would have had to ask what dunsel meant.CamSPD wrote: As for McCoy... According to Memory Alpha, Emony Dax met him while he was a student at the University of Mississippi, so he wasn't in medical school yet (UofM from 2245 - 2249, med school from 2249 - 2253). Startrek.com does not say he ever attended Starfleet Academy, and all Memory Alpha says on the subject is:
McCoy was known to have been divorced and enrolled in Starfleet Academy in the alternate reality by 2255. It is unknown when this happened in the prime reality.
Thus, one could say he did, but you could just as easily argue the opposite and say he didn't. He did have a lieutenant commander's commission by 2266 when he joined the Enterprise crew under Kirk, so sometime between 2253 and 2266 he either attended the academy or was granted a commission by Starfleet. We know he was an admiral in 2364 when he retired for the last time.
It makes no sense to me that McCoy in JJ Trek must attend four years of Starfleet Academy when it is already established that he is an MD. Why would you have to get another BA/BS degree when you already have an MD degree?
I guess there could also be such a thing as a Starfleet Medical College to which McCoy applied after graduating from the University of Mississippi with his BA/BS degree in the Prime timeline.
Wikipedia says the following about the United State Navy Medical Corps:
Source:However, facing a shortage of trained physicians to serve the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps, the Uniformed Services Health Professions Revitalization Act of 1972 was passed. This was a two-pronged act in which the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Health Professions Scholarship Program were created. In both programs, civilians are given a direct commission to the rank of Ensign (rank) (O-1) in the United States Navy Reserve which they hold throughout the four years of their medical education. During this time they receive financial assistance on the condition that they meet reservist requirements, maintain military standards, and agree to serve on active duty as physicians. The commitment required is at least 4 years for HPSP and 7 years of service for USUHS students.
Upon graduation, the new physicians are promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (O-3) and enter active duty as medical interns (PGY-1) at a Naval Hospital.
Upon completion of an internship year, a Navy physician usually is deployed to the fleet as a General Medical Officer, though opportunities also exist to complete full-residency training in the specialty of their choice or undergo 6 months of training to become a Flight Surgeon or Undersea Medical Officer.
So I don't see why Starfleet wouldn't offer direct commissions to MDs or grant reserve commissions to students in medical schools.