Feb 25, 2010
165
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
I figured this is the best place to ask about my situation for some unbiased results. I'm currently 19 and a freshman at a community college on my first semester. I spent the time in between highschool and now working full time to save up for my tuition. my dream is to some day be a physician, but I feel as if I'm starting to stray.

I just cannot seem to get motivated in school. I consider myself an intelligent person but my time management and attitude sucks. with successful cramming Ive been managing to keep all my grades at Bs and As but I reckon I can't keep that up forever with my poor study habits.
my superficial success so far has been me taking advantage of my ability to learn quickly, I have not put in much effort at all.

I've always wanted to serve, but my mother (a physician) always made it seem like that would be impossible if I wanted to ideally be a physician. the goal has not changed, but I feel as if Im wasting my time and money in school right now. I'm not performing at a level I find acceptable. I do not feel like in four years I will be ready for the rigors of medical school.

lately I've been researching more and more about corpsmen and it seems like something I would enjoy. I want a chance to become the person I feel I should be, to push my self to the limits and help those who truley need it. I want to feel useful, my job at the cafe just isnt cutting it.

I figured I could do a five year stint and use the GI bill to fund school. hopefully gaining the will power and perspective I need to be successful. my questions are as followed; have any corpsmen completed their bachelors after service and gone on to medical school or will I be crippling myself by doing so? and this next question is a little random but is it possible to obtain an NREMT-p as a corspman? and to those who have served how did you deal with leaving your loved ones? thanks for any help
sincerely,
misguided
 

dru2002

10+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2008
591
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
The path from corpsman to medical school can be done. I was a corpsman and just finished my B.S. and will be starting med school in the Fall. I loved my time as a corpsman but there is some serious military BS you need to put up with so be sure you research that side really well. I really learned a lot and matured through the process. As far as becoming a paramedic I'm sure it's possible but I don't know how common ( it would mostly be done during off hours and with strict ride along and hospital requirements I don't know if it's feasible). If you end up at a hospital and they need you for EMS they will train and certify you as an EMT. Last I checked which was about 5 years ago special forces (seals and marine recon corpsman) got paramedic certification but they were talking about getting rid of the certification. If you want to be a doctor I don't know how much having that certification would help you though. As far as getting used to being away from your family, you just do. There really isn't a choice, being away is your new reality.

Don't jump into any hasty decisions that sign away 5 years of your life. Think about, talk to people you know who were in the military, and sit down and discuss it with your family. It really is a big decision. Good luck!
 
Feb 25, 2010
165
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
I know the EMT-p isnt too useful for getting into medschool, I just wanted to know if I could get a job that makes a little money after the military while I work on a degree. knowing what you know now would you have gone straight through school or the navy first?
 
Sep 13, 2009
14
0
0
Texas
Status
Attending Physician
I figured I could do a five year stint and use the GI bill to fund school. hopefully gaining the will power and perspective I need to be successful. my questions are as followed; have any corpsmen completed their bachelors after service and gone on to medical school or will I be crippling myself by doing so? and this next question is a little random but is it possible to obtain an NREMT-p as a corspman? and to those who have served how did you deal with leaving your loved ones? thanks for any help
sincerely,
misguided

IMO the military is a great place to start...especially if you are unsure of your career goals. I was prior enlisted Navy air traffic controller and can't say it made it any harder to get into medical school. Therefore, the corpsman route (or "Corpse-man" as per our commander and chief) is not a prerequisite. If you do choose to serve, ensure you investigate the many differences among the services and the jobs available.

How hard do you want to work to achieve your goal...that’s what it takes? For some, the military provides us the tools to obtain these goals.
Obviously, the military is no "picnic" and full of difficulties not encountered in civilian life.

Good luck
 

DocArmy

Staff Internist
7+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2009
288
2
141
Status
Attending Physician
I kind of took a rambling road to med school as well. Two years of missionary work, two years working in a lab after college, then med school. When I graduated HS in 2000, I sincerely debated joining the Army to be a medic. I ultimately decided against it because I didn't want to "delay my medical education." At this juncture, I wish I had done it, on Sept 12. Oh well.

I think corpsman would give you fantastic exposure to medicine (way more than volunteering at the hospital as most undergrads do). When they ask you why you want to be a doctor, you will have actual downrange experiences to back up your "desire to help people," which should pretty much blow the wheels off of any of the normal premed bs. Plus, you'll have time to mature, get some motivation and get some real world experience. All useful things in medical school. And then GI bill to pay for your college.

If your heart is in it, you should join. What's 4 years in the long run anyway? Do what you need to do. Good luck to you.
 
Feb 25, 2010
165
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
my main fear is not going back to school after I get out. for those who enlisted before completing a degree did you find it hard to go back to school? one more concern is how high of a chance is there for re-activation after your commitment is fulfilled? I want to serve my country but I want to go in this with both eyes open.
 

dru2002

10+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2008
591
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
my main fear is not going back to school after I get out. for those who enlisted before completing a degree did you find it hard to go back to school? one more concern is how high of a chance is there for re-activation after your commitment is fulfilled? I want to serve my country but I want to go in this with both eyes open.
I had no issue going back to school. I was clear on what I wanted to do and went for it. With the new GI Bill it is even easier to get back into school and not have to worry about how you are gonna feed yourself. I cannot speak to the future because WWIII could break out, but as of last year the navy had not had to utilize the IRR (or so they told me in my yearly training required while you are in the IRR). Again this makes no guarantees to what will happen. When you sign up as a corpsman (this is dated so it may have changed slightly) you commit to five years active duty and three in the IRR. During that time you have to be willing and able to fulfill your contract. Again good luck.
 

2 Wycked

Tonight!
Jan 17, 2010
18
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I was in the same position as you at that age, and I decided to stick with college. Without going into too many details my grades got progressively worse until about two years later when I failed every class in a semester. At that point I enlisted in the army as a medic. I got out almost two years ago, and will soon earn a BS. I'm also applying to med schools this year.

There are many pros and cons about serving in the military, and you can read many posts on this board about those. I can't speak for circumstances specific to the navy, but among the worst parts of army life (at least during my enlistment) were the lack of freedom as far as where you're stationed, and the deployment schedule. I deployed for 12 months, and exactly 365 days back in the states, and deployed again for 15 months. I also ended up being stop-lossed for over 8 months past my original ETS date. There were also a lot of good aspects, you meet some really cool people and gain experiences that very few other people will ever encounter. Both the good and bad aspects of my enlistment serve as motivation to keep studying and working hard in class. Even though I view my enlistment as an overall positive experience in my life, it's not something I want to go through again.

I also had no problems going back to school after I got out. Someone said this before on another thread, but I'll repeat it here: if you do enlist and get out, start school as soon as you can. If you decide to take a semester or a year off as a break, that one year will turn into several years before you know it.

As for the IRR, of all the people I know who have gotten out, only one was recalled and mobilized of the IRR. And he wound up getting out of that anyway. Based on my experiences, and again I can't speak for the navy, you will have a greater chance of being stop-lossed than being called up off the IRR.

If your heart is in it, then look into enlisting because if you don't have the motivation or study skills now your grades will likely suffer, and it is really hard to bring your GPA back up after failing several classes.
 
Feb 25, 2010
165
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
things are starting to come together a bit more. I'm looking into the navy reserves, this way I can still become a corpsman and take classes in between deployments. now I know everything comes down to the needs of the service but could I volunteer to be deployed with the marines? I'd love to serve with them and 6-7 month deployments seem more manageable.
 

lawyerdoc2b

7+ Year Member
May 11, 2009
401
5
141
Dacula, Georgia
Status
Medical Student
I figured this is the best place to ask about my situation for some unbiased results. I'm currently 19 and a freshman at a community college on my first semester. I spent the time in between highschool and now working full time to save up for my tuition. my dream is to some day be a physician, but I feel as if I'm starting to stray.

I just cannot seem to get motivated in school. I consider myself an intelligent person but my time management and attitude sucks. with successful cramming Ive been managing to keep all my grades at Bs and As but I reckon I can't keep that up forever with my poor study habits.
my superficial success so far has been me taking advantage of my ability to learn quickly, I have not put in much effort at all.

I've always wanted to serve, but my mother (a physician) always made it seem like that would be impossible if I wanted to ideally be a physician. the goal has not changed, but I feel as if Im wasting my time and money in school right now. I'm not performing at a level I find acceptable. I do not feel like in four years I will be ready for the rigors of medical school.

lately I've been researching more and more about corpsmen and it seems like something I would enjoy. I want a chance to become the person I feel I should be, to push my self to the limits and help those who truley need it. I want to feel useful, my job at the cafe just isnt cutting it.

I figured I could do a five year stint and use the GI bill to fund school. hopefully gaining the will power and perspective I need to be successful. my questions are as followed; have any corpsmen completed their bachelors after service and gone on to medical school or will I be crippling myself by doing so? and this next question is a little random but is it possible to obtain an NREMT-p as a corspman? and to those who have served how did you deal with leaving your loved ones? thanks for any help
sincerely,
misguided
I went to college for a year and made the same grades as you. I joined the Navy and served four years as a Hospital Corpsman. After training I served 1 1/2 years in the Fleet Marine Force and two years on a ship. I grew up and when I finally went to college I was very focused and mature. Still, I finished but messed up in organic chemistry and went to Law School and became a lawyer. Now, after 20 years of being a lawyer and regretting not going to medical school I went back to college at night and re-took every premedical course. I begin medical school in August 2010 one month shy of my 53rd birthday.

Some observations: (1) military service will build you or break you - it all depends on your desire and attitude; (2) Navy medicine is wonderful experience and exposure; (3) to become a physician the road is hard and long - if you don't have a fire in your belly that can't be put out unless you become a physician ten don't do it; and, if you want it bad enough it is never too late.

If I were you I'd consider my motivation. You can do it now if you really want to do it.
 

beefballs

MIDWEST
10+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2005
557
3
241
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I did 4 years AD in the marines as an enlisted before undergrad, it was a huge help both personally and in med school and residency interviews. Med school will still be there and if you are not currently buckling down in school it may get worse. I disagree with the people that say beiing an EMT or corpsman wouldn't help with med school acceptance, I think it most certainly would and it shows a dedication to patient care which admissions depts love to see
 

lawyerdoc2b

7+ Year Member
May 11, 2009
401
5
141
Dacula, Georgia
Status
Medical Student
I did 4 years AD in the marines as an enlisted before undergrad, it was a huge help both personally and in med school and residency interviews. Med school will still be there and if you are not currently buckling down in school it may get worse. I disagree with the people that say beiing an EMT or corpsman wouldn't help with med school acceptance, I think it most certainly would and it shows a dedication to patient care which admissions depts love to see
I agree. Service as a Hospital Corpsman shows dedication and is direct medical exposure - for some, under direct enemy fire. :thumbup: