Airman pursues dream to become doctor, earns full scholarship

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, poses for a photo in front of an ambulance outside of the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo was awarded a full ride scholarship to medical school from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, poses for a photo in front of an ambulance outside of the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo was awarded a full ride scholarship to medical school from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, conducts a respiratory training session with Senior Airman Lupita Lopez, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron medical technician, left, and Airman 1st Class Enrique Padron, 81st MDOS medical technician, in the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo was awarded a full ride scholarship to medical school and will begin her first day July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, conducts a respiratory training session with Senior Airman Lupita Lopez, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron medical technician, left, and Airman 1st Class Enrique Padron, 81st MDOS medical technician, in the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo was awarded a full ride scholarship to medical school and will begin her first day July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, conducts a daily function check inside an ambulance at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo will begin her first day of medical school July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, conducts a daily function check inside an ambulance at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo will begin her first day of medical school July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, completes a daily supply inventory list for the Keesler Medical Center emergency department at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo will begin her first day of medical school July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st Medical Operations Squadron Emergency Department NCO in charge, completes a daily supply inventory list for the Keesler Medical Center emergency department at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Corcillo will begin her first day of medical school July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

An 81st Medical Operations Squadron Airman is pursuing her dream of becoming a physician and was recently awarded a full ride scholarship to medical school.

Tech. Sgt. Juliet Corcillo, 81st MDOS Emergency Department NCO in charge, will begin her first day of medical school July 6 with a four-year scholarship from the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program.

“I’m getting to live out my dream,” said Corcillo. “I’ve wanted to be a military doctor for the past eight years and it’s just so rewarding. I could not have done this on my own, especially with all the medical experience I’ve had since [joining the Air Force].”

Corcillo joined the Air Force in 2009 right after high school but it was during her first deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in 2011 when she began taking college courses. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology in May 2017 and later that year was accepted into Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.

“Ever since my deployment I’ve always said that I wanted to go back out there as a military doctor just to be able to do more to take care of our guys down range,” Corcillo said. “My dad was a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department. He was there during 9/11 and the big turning point for me was on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11; that’s when I was deployed to Bagram.”

Throughout the years, Corcillo said her biggest challenge was balancing her full-time active duty job along with going to school and staying healthy.

We were working 12-hour shifts; we were working night shifts; sometimes we had emergencies where we had to stay a few hours late, depending on the case,” she said. “I always had to remember that first I’m in the military, then school comes next. That was kind of a challenge sometimes because I’d have classes during the days, then I’d have military requirements like training or [temporary duty assignments]. I had to balance my time with studying, doing homework, taking care of myself and still go to the gym, eat right, and sleep. In my last semester of school I was sleeping maybe three to four hours a day.”

Corcillo credits her success to her supportive mentors and supervisors who helped guide and motivate her over the years.

Her supervisor, Senior Master Sgt. Brian Johns, 81st MDOS Emergency Services flight chief, said Corcillo is motivated to reach her goals, as well as dedicated to help her Airmen and department succeed.

"Sergeant Corcillo is the go-to in the Emergency Department," he said. "Our Airmen seek her for professional and personal advise. She is measured and sincere in her actions and conversations with our staff and cares deeply for them, their families and their goals."

Johns said Corcillo took on the night shift in order to complete her last semester of undergraduate courses while continuing as a shift leader. Even then, she still found time to study for the rank of technical sergeant and was promoted upon her first attempt.

"I met then-Senior Airman Corcillo several years ago when I was the career assistance advisor for the 81st Training Wing," said Johns. "The first conversation we had, she told me she was going to be a doctor. It was great to see the excitement on her face when she was accepted to medical school and when she was notified she would receive her HPSP scholarship. She is a great Airman and will be an awesome Air Force physician and a great example for future Airmen."

According to the Air Force Medical Service’s official website, the Air Force HPSP offers medical students the opportunity to receive a full tuition scholarship along with a monthly stipend in exchange for future service as an Air Force physician. Click here to learn more about HPSP.