Osorio93

Sergio
Mar 18, 2013
5
0
Longwood, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
So I know that similar threads have been posted but nothing has stuck out that I can relate to my own personal situation (duh). So here it goes:

I am a FF/Paramedic, been in EMS for 4 years and the FD for 1 for a busy urban, semi-rural to rural county (Lake County, FL). We have pretty aggressive protocols and get lots of sick, critical patients, among the BS calls. People in medic school used to always call me doctor because it came easy and was a breeze for me and I was and still am passionate about medicine. I'm 23 years old, married with a 2 year old with plans on one more(hopefully just one) before med school, a mortgage and 2 dogs. I only have an A.S. in EMS right now so i'm a bit of a ways away from any serious considerations to applying to any of my local medical schools and MCAT. My plan is to get a B.S. in Health Administration and then do some sort of post-bacc program to boost my GPA. Speaking of my GPA I have a 3.217 cGPA with all the pre-reqs for nursing school.

Nursing school: I realized that I wanted to go to nursing school for the money and strictly for the money. Being in EMS, I hated making 10-15k less than nurses while working 2x the hours. So I applied a couple of times and didn't get in. I got the hint and I feel like God was telling me that its not for me. Luckily some, not many, of the pre-reqs won't go in vain for my pre-med journey. And before anybody mentions anything about the money, my desire to be a doctor, while at one point was about the money, is not about the money whatsoever. I have taken the easy route(i.e. EMT, Paramedic, Fire school) even though I have had the desire to be a doctor since I was a wee little tike. But I digress, back to reality here.

The only science classes I have right now are A&P I and II, Microbiology, and Gen Bio I. I want tog get my B.S. in health administration as something to fall back on (brace yourselves the backlash is coming) in case I don't get into a medical school and then do the post-bacc as I said to boost my GPA, also to make sure everything is fresh (somewhat) for when I take the MCAT. I also haven't totally discredited the B.S. in Health Sciences that would encompass all of the pre-reqs needed for medical school. My timeline is to get my undergrad with pre-reqs done over the next 4-6 years and apply to be able to enter med school by the time i'm 30. In the mean time, my wife is going to school to be a teacher (she'll be done in less than 2 years) and i'll still be working as a FF/Paramedic while obtaining my undergrad (thank God for lots of time off and shift swaps!!!). We are planning on using the first 2 years of my wife's income as a teacher to pay our mortgage forward the 4 years i'm in med school and then in essence set ourselves up financially to be able to live off of her income through out medical school.

My first choice in schools is UCF since I live 35-40 min away. Second and third choices would be UF(Go Gators) and FSU(while i'm a gator fan, this won't stop me from being a doctor and I have ties in Tally) then last choice probably USF. I know UF is one of the harder ones to get into in the state of florida so that probably won't happen...oh well. Ideally I would like to get into UCF due to the proximity and I would like to stay local for residency (UCF had 8 graduates placed in EM residencies in orlando between ORMC and FH in 2014). I know my preference might change through medical school but i'm sticking to EM at the moment. FSU is a good second choice for me due to the fact that MS1 and MS2 would be up in Tally (I can stay with the ties I have in tally) and then MS3 and MS4 I could see about trying to do their satellite campus here in orlando. I haven't quite explored USF or UF as much at the moment. I'm open to the DO school in Bradenton, LECOM, due to my non-trad status, age, GPA, etc.

So with all of that back story here are my questions in a nut shell:

1. I know its possible to do it otherwise I wouldn't believe in myself enough to pursue it, but how realistic is my plan in your opinion?
2. Whats your opinion on my current academic situation?
3. Whats your opinion on 'setting myself up financially'? (with this I know you are never ready financially, I get it but we are going to do our best to stick to the plan and sacrifice now to reach our ultimate goal)
4. Please be as brutally honest with me as you can, I'm a FF I can take backlash and constructive criticism, I take it everyday i'm on shift. What are some of your opinions or ways that you would do it differently? or would you do it the same.

Thank you guys so much and I apologize for the long, drawn out post. But this is my first time post and i've been a long time lurker of these subs with the thought of going to med school here and there and always writing myself off thinking that it would never be possible for me and its not in the cards for me. So here goes nothing and i'm ready to pursue this journey.

Oh and I have also thought about PA/NP but personally, for my goals, I feel like I would be settling like I have my entire life so I appreciate the suggestions for that but I am currently set in what I want to do. Also I recognize that a lot can change in the next 6-7 years. Thanks everybody and God Bless!!
 

EParker37

Paramagician
Dec 11, 2013
256
232
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
I have been a medic for going on 12 years, did the Firemedic route for 6 and have been doing flight since, there is nothing wrong with making the paramedic -> MD/DO switch, I know plenty of medics who have done it. But, with that GPA you are going to have to do a lot of work to get it to a competitive level. AACOMAS does do grade replacement, so that may be an option. It is possible, I worked full time and went back to school and studied for the MCAT and did well, so it is possible, but don't expect it to be easy because you have the pt care experience, get ready to study hard.
 
OP
Osorio93

Osorio93

Sergio
Mar 18, 2013
5
0
Longwood, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
I have been a medic for going on 12 years, did the Firemedic route for 6 and have been doing flight since, there is nothing wrong with making the paramedic -> MD/DO switch, I know plenty of medics who have done it. But, with that GPA you are going to have to do a lot of work to get it to a competitive level. AACOMAS does do grade replacement, so that may be an option. It is possible, I worked full time and went back to school and studied for the MCAT and did well, so it is possible, but don't expect it to be easy because you have the pt care experience, get ready to study hard.
Yep I'm totally aware of the GPA thing which is why I wanted to boost it with the undergrad major in health administration and then a post bacc. Thanks for the encouragement! Are you planning on going to med school?
 

EParker37

Paramagician
Dec 11, 2013
256
232
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
Yep I'm totally aware of the GPA thing which is why I wanted to boost it with the undergrad major in health administration and then a post bacc. Thanks for the encouragement! Are you planning on going to med school?
Yeah, I applied this cycle to schools in TX, just waiting on II at this point. It took me about 3 years when I decided to go the med school route to get everything and I already had my bachelors. So just get ready for the long haul.
 
OP
Osorio93

Osorio93

Sergio
Mar 18, 2013
5
0
Longwood, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
What's your opinion on my timeline, my plan to manage our finances, and my undergrad major choice?
 

EParker37

Paramagician
Dec 11, 2013
256
232
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
What's your opinion on my timeline, my plan to manage our finances, and my undergrad major choice?
The timeline is good, just make sure you don't rush on any step, at this point, anything less than an A is going to hurt you, and make sure you take biochem before taking the MCAT, it will help. The degree choice is fine, having a good fall back is definitely the smart choice, but make sure its something you enjoy, you'll have an easier time if its enjoyable. My undergrad is in Public Administration and sociology and is my fall back. You financial situation is similar to mine, and you know you can always pick up PRN shifts on a box and study on the truck if need be.
 
OP
Osorio93

Osorio93

Sergio
Mar 18, 2013
5
0
Longwood, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
The timeline is good, just make sure you don't rush on any step, at this point, anything less than an A is going to hurt you, and make sure you take biochem before taking the MCAT, it will help. The degree choice is fine, having a good fall back is definitely the smart choice, but make sure its something you enjoy, you'll have an easier time if its enjoyable. My undergrad is in Public Administration and sociology and is my fall back. You financial situation is similar to mine, and you know you can always pick up PRN shifts on a box and study on the truck if need be.
Picking up a PRN shift on a box during med school? I've heard working during med school is the devil! But I can see how on a slow day I could study. Thanks a lot for the insight and good luck brother!
 

EParker37

Paramagician
Dec 11, 2013
256
232
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
Picking up a PRN shift on a box during med school? I've heard working during med school is the devil! But I can see how on a slow day I could study. Thanks a lot for the insight and good luck brother!
Same to you, and just pick up nights or evening shifts and make your EMT do the driving haha.
 
Aug 21, 2016
178
144
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
The timeline is good, just make sure you don't rush on any step, at this point, anything less than an A is going to hurt you, and make sure you take biochem before taking the MCAT, it will help. The degree choice is fine, having a good fall back is definitely the smart choice, but make sure its something you enjoy, you'll have an easier time if its enjoyable. My undergrad is in Public Administration and sociology and is my fall back. You financial situation is similar to mine, and you know you can always pick up PRN shifts on a box and study on the truck if need be.
11 year medic here. I'm in the process of applying this cycle. As stated, just don't rush things. You can salvage your GPA is you're willing to bust your ass while completing your degree. The grade replacement will be your best friend. I would also suggest taking genetics prior to the MCAT. Just know that you're in for a lot of work, but it's doable. I've worked 72+ hours a week, been soul provider for a family of 5, and taken full time classes for around 4 years now. As far as finances, don't let stress you too much at this time. With the earning potential you have as a medical student, you can always get enough loans to live. I'm planning on picking up a few shifts a month on weekends, myself. Some of the better doctors I know were paramedics prior to medical school. The associate dean of the new NYITCOM Arkansas was a paramedic.
 

Doctor_Strange

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
716
382
Status
Medical Student
What are are your current GPAs? I think, just from a feasibility standpoint, you have a better route towards DO schools. Some programs even have a PA to DO route which I mention just to showcase the proportion of non-trads entering the DO profession.

My 2 cents: go all in for DO, unless your MCAT is stellar--vague I know but it is hard to say what you need w/o GPA info. DO is EM friendly as well. UCF and UF are incredibly hard schools to enter which I am sure you know, but I want to emphasize. UCF likely will overtake UF in the next decade as the premier medical school in FL.
 

Doctor_Strange

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2015
716
382
Status
Medical Student
So I know that similar threads have been posted but nothing has stuck out that I can relate to my own personal situation (duh). So here it goes:

So with all of that back story here are my questions in a nut shell:

1. I know its possible to do it otherwise I wouldn't believe in myself enough to pursue it, but how realistic is my plan in your opinion?
2. Whats your opinion on my current academic situation?
3. Whats your opinion on 'setting myself up financially'? (with this I know you are never ready financially, I get it but we are going to do our best to stick to the plan and sacrifice now to reach our ultimate goal)
4. Please be as brutally honest with me as you can, I'm a FF I can take backlash and constructive criticism, I take it everyday i'm on shift. What are some of your opinions or ways that you would do it differently? or would you do it the same.

Thank you guys so much and I apologize for the long, drawn out post. But this is my first time post and i've been a long time lurker of these subs with the thought of going to med school here and there and always writing myself off thinking that it would never be possible for me and its not in the cards for me. So here goes nothing and i'm ready to pursue this journey.

Oh and I have also thought about PA/NP but personally, for my goals, I feel like I would be settling like I have my entire life so I appreciate the suggestions for that but I am currently set in what I want to do. Also I recognize that a lot can change in the next 6-7 years. Thanks everybody and God Bless!!
1) I am biased since I am going to a DO school, but honestly the DO is more realistic just in general terms. Not saying MD is not possible, but it will be invariably more difficult. I think once you read up more on DO and MD, and if you feel fine with the DO route, be prepared to leave FL to attend a DO school. LECOM-B and NSU are great national schools. They are tough to enter, and Bradenton's curriculum is different enough for many accepted students to go elsewhere.

2) What are your sGPA and cGPA? How many prereqs have you taken?

3) I'm not sure. You will graduate with immense debt no matter what. I'd say you need to also plan finances for applying and traveling which--in total--could be around $5,000 perhaps. Applying both MD/DO will be more expensive than one or the other.

4) If I were you, I would focus all your energy right now on your pre-med courses if you still need to finish them. To me, if you have one or more courses below a C- frankly I feel that lends itself more to you applying to DO schools as you can retake those schools. Spend time on the Pre-DO forums, lots of non-trads and lots of good information. Ask questions and seek different responses and suggestions. One size does not fit all. Take this one step at time though. Grades in your science classes and then your MCAT are the biggest obstacles right now. Once those are handled, move on to finding solid letters of recommendation. Your personal statement and extracurriculars will be solid by virtue of your job/experiences. If your GPAs are around 3.3, and you can get--at worse--a 499 MCAT I say you will be accepted at some DO school. I got in with a 497, but everything else in my app was above average to average.
 

alpinism

Give Em' the Jet Fuel
7+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2011
3,107
2,768
Port Au Prince
As long as you're okay with applying DO and leaving FL if needed you should be fine in the long run.

Realize that raising your GPA is your number #1 priority at this point.
 

Ho0v-man

2+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2014
1,995
4,928
Status
Medical Student
Fellow non trad rad tech matriculating DO in 2017. Lots of good advice in this thread. I'd like to chime in with a couple of things.

1). Get ready to sell your house unless you think your spouse can manage the mortgage without you working.

2). Get involved in extra curriculars /research. Don't expect your current career to take you very far in the EC department. This was the biggest thing that held back my app. I worked ~70 hrs per week in undergrad in multiple hospitals, but it didn't really carry me very far and I had no time for anything else besides work and school. Sadly, I actually had ok stats (granted I live in a "lucky" state), but my two state MD schools said that I shouldn't bother applying based on my ECs and even some DO schools wouldn't interview me (but most of them understand the troubles of being non traditional).

3). Like me, because of your job, you probably know a lot of doctors. If they've been out of med school > 5 years, then they know nothing of how competitive it is now so take everything with a grain of salt.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Entadus

Happy on 5-HT
10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2008
1,726
1,002
California
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Your plan seems well thought out and reasonable, however you should realize you're anticipating years into the future at a time when your focus needs to be 99% in the present moment, taking care of business so to speak.

With regard to your academic situation: Come back when you have an 'A' grade in General chemistry and we'll be able to tell you if your goal is realistic. Until then, it's just drawing schemes in the sand.
 
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CajunMedic

10+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2009
778
517
Officially in West By God Virginia
Status
Resident [Any Field]
15 Year Paramedic and 3rd year DO Student here.

I concur with everybody else here. Grades and MCAT are going to be the main focus right now. Be careful when you start MCAT prep in earnest, don't overload yourself academically. I did and both my grades and MCAT suffered. The AACOMAS Grade replacement can be your friend.

Good luck and hang on for the ride!
 
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Osorio93

Osorio93

Sergio
Mar 18, 2013
5
0
Longwood, FL
Status
Pre-Medical
@Doctor_Strange As I vigorously scan through the forums on as much info as I can, I've been realizing that DO is probably my better route which is why i'm open to it...the whole leaving florida and selling my house idea that @alpinism mentioned kind of freaks me out to be honest. I have no idea how or what to gauge my current level of knowledge and how well I will or won't do on the MCAT. I do recognize, however, that I know nothing and I want to change that and i'm willing to bust my ass for such. I also haven't taken the time to calculate my GPA's for the sole fact that I have really only taken 4-5 sciences, one of which will count towards the typical science pre-reqs for medical school.

@Entadus I realize that this is just drawings in the sand and again i'm willing to bust my ass to make this a reality.

@Ho0v-man As for selling my house, we plan on paying my mortgage forward for the length of school and living within the means of my wife's salary...but if we are required

I really appreciate the constructive criticism, wisdom and advice.

So I have seen going through the forums that most medical schools want to see that you can handle a full course load of 15 credit hours a semester for at least a year...how does that apply to me and how do I handle that with the regularly irregular schedule of a ff/pm on the 24/48 schedule (see what i there? lol).

Thanks again you guys I really appreciate it!

EDIT: Oh and I just pitched the whole idea of the possibility of moving out of state to my wife and she didn't immediately say no (thats a win in my book, I love my woman!). That would be such a crazy change for us especially if we have to move. I would like to move at least a year before if I get in somewhere but I know the timing doesn't work like that with applications unless I get in on an early application round...idk i'm just rambling at this point and making the "drawings in the sand" more elaborate.

How many of you guys have moved your family (wife, kids, life) to a completely different state where you knew nobody? Thanks