Apr 29, 2010
25
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Im a 23 Yr old Active Duty Air Force member who has a definite interest in becoming a physician. I work in Medical Admin in a hospial and interact with patients on a daily basis, being admin my med work is limited to taking vitals, etc but I do have an above average knowledge of conditions and terminology during my two deployments to Iraq and Kuwait Ive had more extensive patient care including cleaning,bandaging wounds, patient transport/Aeromed Evac then I get in my typical job stateside.

I never really had an interest in Medicine until I deployed to Iraq in 2008 and spent alot of time in the ER, this is where it all took root. At this point I had just gotten married and returned from that deployment and started my degree online, my first college coursework since High School at age 20. Soon in 2010 I deployed again to Kuwait this time leaving a wife AND son behind.

I currently have 15 Creds toward an Online BS in Psych thru Park U, so yea I still have a very long way to go and I realize as much. Planning on getting that BS online and taking all my LAB based courses, etc face to face, shooting for finishing that 5-6 yrs. After which I am interested USUHS or a civillian school. Being that my wife is still just starting school and all it just doesnt seem real feasible at this point in my life leaving the military and having her support the family while finishing my bachelors and then going to Med School and doing the same thing, I NEED the non conventional route. So my plan as of now is to stay active duty to support my Fam and just gradually work through my BS and Pre-reqs, and then finally apply in a few yrs

Im moving to Colorado Springs in Feb and thats where I will be starting my LABS and all that good stuff. If you have any info for me of schools that I may be interested in their courses in CO please let me know.

Can you offer any input or advice on my situation? Potentially pulling credits from a handful of different schools over a certain period of time, Military Exp, etc? if Im lucky I wont have any upcoming deployments so I can keep taking necessary face to face pre reqs but I know I will be in CO for only 3 yrs so looks like I will actually be finishing up at my assignment after that so prob at least one more school ill be pulling credits from. Is this looked down on by admissions? I mean there is almost no way im going to be able to start a 4 yr program at a school like a traditional student, I may be pulling pre req credits from 4-5 schools for Pre-Reqs depending where im located while finishing by BS with Park Online at the same time..

I could also really use some advice on class progression, everything i've taken the past few years has been general ed English, History etc except for one Anatomy. I never got the best grades in Math and Science in High School but then again I never really cared at that time. What should I take first?? Basic Algebra,Calc, Physics, Chem? would that be a normal order?? I havent taken ANY Math/Science Courses in 5 Yrs so im rusty, where should I start? I want to be challenged but I need to ease back in at the same time keeping in mind these were never my strong subjects, English and History are.. Thanks for any advice..
 

tremulousNeedle

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
623
5
Status
Attending Physician
I wrote some comments within your original post.

Im a 23 Yr old Active Duty Air Force member who has a definite interest in becoming a physician. I work in Medical Admin in a hospial and interact with patients on a daily basis, being admin my med work is limited to taking vitals, etc but I do have an above average knowledge of conditions and terminology during my two deployments to Iraq and Kuwait Ive had more extensive patient care including cleaning,bandaging wounds, patient transport/Aeromed Evac then I get in my typical job stateside.

While this stuff is influential in your decision to pursue medicine, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things (these specific experiences won't give you an advantage over someone with different, but similarly unique experiences - which most applicants have). However, they could give you something to discuss in your personal statement and during an interview.

I never really had an interest in Medicine until I deployed to Iraq in 2008 and spent alot of time in the ER, this is where it all took root. At this point I had just gotten married and returned from that deployment and started my degree online, my first college coursework since High School at age 20. Soon in 2010 I deployed again to Kuwait this time leaving a wife AND son behind.

You will need to check with specific schools, but online college coursework is not viewed as highly as in-person traditional college or community college coursework, which could impair your ability to get med school interviews and acceptances. Also, completing the degree online, puts you at more of a disadvantage than if you started with online courses and then transferred them to a traditional college. Do your own personal research, I am not sure what USUHS requires for prereq coursework, but there are many civilian schools that will not accept online coursework (I would hate for you to earn tons of credits for nothing).

I currently have 15 Creds toward an Online BS in Psych thru Park U, so yea I still have a very long way to go and I realize as much. Planning on getting that BS online and taking all my LAB based courses, etc face to face, shooting for finishing that 5-6 yrs. After which I am interested USUHS or a civillian school. Being that my wife is still just starting school and all it just doesnt seem real feasible at this point in my life leaving the military and having her support the family while finishing my bachelors and then going to Med School and doing the same thing, I NEED the non conventional route. So my plan as of now is to stay active duty to support my Fam and just gradually work through my BS and Pre-reqs, and then finally apply in a few yrs

Im moving to Colorado Springs in Feb and thats where I will be starting my LABS and all that good stuff. If you have any info for me of schools that I may be interested in their courses in CO please let me know.

Can you offer any input or advice on my situation? Potentially pulling credits from a handful of different schools over a certain period of time, Military Exp, etc? if Im lucky I wont have any upcoming deployments so I can keep taking necessary face to face pre reqs but I know I will be in CO for only 3 yrs so looks like I will actually be finishing up at my assignment after that so prob at least one more school ill be pulling credits from. Is this looked down on by admissions? I mean there is almost no way im going to be able to start a 4 yr program at a school like a traditional student, I may be pulling pre req credits from 4-5 schools for Pre-Reqs depending where im located while finishing by BS with Park Online at the same time..

Having too many institutions on your application (you are required to submit all transcripts for education received after high school) DOES generally look bad to adcoms and this may flag your application. Given your situation (military experience) the adcom may elect to ignore the number of schools you attended, but there are no guarantees.

I could also really use some advice on class progression, everything i've taken the past few years has been general ed English, History etc except for one Anatomy. I never got the best grades in Math and Science in High School but then again I never really cared at that time. What should I take first?? Basic Algebra,Calc, Physics, Chem? would that be a normal order?? I havent taken ANY Math/Science Courses in 5 Yrs so im rusty, where should I start? I want to be challenged but I need to ease back in at the same time keeping in mind these were never my strong subjects, English and History are.. Thanks for any advice..

There are numerous other threads here with basic med school requirements and recommended pathways, so I won't get too detailed. Basically you need:
  • 1 year with lab of each of the following: biology, gen chem, organic chem, and physics.
  • Other requirements/recommendations such as biochem, genetics, calculus, english are school specific.
  • BS or BA degree, focus doesn't really matter as long as it is something you enjoy (I would probably avoid communication, but otherwise everything is on the table).

Your military experience is definitely a good thing; it demonstrates teamwork and commitment, and potentially lends itself to leadership experience as well. However, there is so much more to becoming a good med school applicant. I recommend doing some research on this site as well as other sites, your questions have been asked before and there is a whole body of responses out there.
Good luck.
 

Rustifer

10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2008
22
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Having done four years in the Marine Corps and looking back...I don't see how I could have stayed in and completed my undergrad with a legit degree. Your situation is different than mine in that I don't have a spouse to support. However, if this is something that you really want to do then you leaving the military to finish your undergrad might be a conversation you two need to have.
 
OP
T
Apr 29, 2010
25
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Having done four years in the Marine Corps and looking back...I don't see how I could have stayed in and completed my undergrad with a legit degree. Your situation is different than mine in that I don't have a spouse to support. However, if this is something that you really want to do then you leaving the military to finish your undergrad might be a conversation you two need to have.
Right on, and i've more and more come to that realization...its being heavily discussed in my household