Current active duty Officer thinking about medschool

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Apr 20, 2018
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So long story short, I am currently an Air Force officer with a BS degree in Behavioral Science -- Human Factors from a military academy. I always had a feeling I would end up wanting to become a doctor and unfortunately didn't decide until just recently. With that said, I need to take some prereqs before even considering applying to medical school. I do not know how that works, especially being in the military and having a full time job already. I just would like some guidance on where I should go from here...postbacc classes at a local college? A special program? Not even sure where to start to be honest. And would love to hear some advice/experiences on this stuff. I didn't do so hot at the academy as far as grades, but they aren't the worst. Thanks!

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I’m enlisted AF, and I when I got out of active duty (I’m still ANG) I did most of my prerequisites at a CC, and I start M1 in the fall. Most schools accept CC credit for prerequisites, but some don’t. Make sure when you do apply that you check on MSAR to make sure the schools you apply to accept them. I don’t know about doing the prereqs while still being active duty, but I know the lab classes really should be done at a brick and mortar school, not online. If you’re not deploying or going TDY a lot, you should be able to take a night class. Generally, you’ll need bio 1/2, gen chem 1/2, orgo 1/2, physics 1/2, calc and/or stats, and sometimes biochem (definitely helpful regardless), but again, double check on the MSAR for each school’s requirements. The good news is, if you have your post-9/11 GI bill, it will cover full tuition at a state school (save for the last semester of 4th year) and there are a few private schools that have good yellow ribbon programs. Admission committees generally look upon military service very favorably, but I’d also recommend clinical experience if you don’t have some already (shadowing, volunteering at a clinic, etc).
Currently active duty myself but on the enlisted side (E-5 prior bachelors as well). I also concur to utilize MSAR as to know what’s acceptable from most schools. You can create your own DIY at your own pace. If probable I’d CLEP some courses (ie college algebra) just to bypass straight to some pre-reqs such as Gen Chem 101. Education Dept should assist you on CLEP courses.

Depending on what your dept. allows I would recommend “1 course” to start at a local CC that provides a lab portion (no online classes that require a lab is my own rule of thumb). It is a matter of self-pace which is fine. I’d start on regional-accredited-military-friendly online ‘statistics’ just to see how you feel with it. Again, look up what schools accept what courses (online, CC, etc). With officer pay, I’d cut back slightly on tsp contributions and throw any extra cash or BAH on a good online growth savings account (I use ally myself). For every semester you can save on cash (even if it’s 1 or 2) your that much further along on saving your 9/11 GI Bill when it matters most.

Outside of these small steps, shadow and volunteer and leave a paper trail when you do. It’ll be viable when you get out and add up your hours (Army has a form I use for this through General Medicine Education I’m sure the AF does something similar). I hope this puts you at least in the right direction. Best wishes