Spotlighting the medical class of 2008

A few weeks before starting medical school in 2004 Jason Crosson accompanied Air Force doctors on a medical mission trip to Peru. After that trip, he was convinced that becoming a military physician was right for him.

Crosson, along with three fellow classmates, will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force during Saturday’s College of Medicine graduation. Crosson was selected for the Air Force’s Health Profession Scholarship Program before his second year and completed four weeks of officer training school in Alabama at Maxwell Air Force Base that summer.

With the Air Force paying Crosson’s tuition and books during his last three years of medical school, he now will complete a residency in ophthalmology at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and commit to another three years as an Air Force officer, which is just fine with him and his wife.

“My grandparents were military and I just feel blessed to be starting off as a career in the Air Force,” Crosson said. “It is an honor to be an officer, to serve my country and to take care of patients.”

All students to be commissioned into the armed forces during this year’s graduation are entering the Air Force. In addition to Crosson, they include Pablo Medina Jr., Elizabeth Ballard and Andrew Thagard. Medina heads to UF Shands Jacksonville for a residency in medicine. Ballard will move to Travis Air Force Base in California for a residency in radiology. Thagard will complete his residency in OB/Gyn at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.