For Yolanda Figueroa, it was an unforgettable experience. Wearins: combat fatigues and clutching an M-16 rifle, the 28-year-old from Torrance. California, was crawling through a clearing, keeping her head low, and staying as close to the ground as she could.
"There was tiring all around us, and we had to focus on what we needed to do," she says, remembering how her adrenaline How surged and ebbed repeatedly during her time in the field. "It was very intense, but very valuable as well."
Ms. Figueroa wasn't undergoing recruit training at Parris Island or Fort Bragg. She's a medical student-at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USUHS. a combination medical school and research center that has become the military's "West Point for doctors." And to Figueroa, an ensign in the Navy medical corps, the utilities were almost as familiar as a lab coat.