Hello all, I've been a lurker here for quite some time, figured I'd come out of the shadows and make it official. The basics: -25 year old male. -BA, Philosophy. -MSW, in progress. -Iraq veteran, combat medic. -Still serving in Army National Guard (over 8 years now) as a non-commissioned officer. Lots of leadership experience and education here. -Worked full time as phlebotomist/lab assistant at the VA hospital from FEB2013-AUG2014; still on the books as an intermittent employee. -Though two of my grandparents were educated, neither of my parents were. I grew up in a more or less unremarkable lower-middle class setting. GPAs- AMCAS: 3.06c/3.24s AACOMAS: 3.13c/3.62s Not terrible, but not where I need to be. I went immediately to college after war, and I didn't take seriously the kind of transition that would be. Without going into too much detail, I struggled with issues throughout undergrad and it wasn't until the end when I saw a social worker that things got straightened out for me. Hence my motivation to study social work. If for whatever reason I have to delay/forgo my medical school aspirations, I still have a career that enables me to help people. I've also recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The pulmonologist was surprised, given that I'm young and fit, whereas most of his OSA patients are older and overweight. Go figure. As you can see, I've already retaken two classes; one science and one non-science. The science classes that I have taken are chem and bio for non-science majors, and human nutrition and biology. Currently enrolled in Bio 2 while I'm simultaneously working on my MSW full time. Aced first exam thus far. It's amazing how much better you can do at school when you're actually focused on a goal! All that being said, I'm going to continue taking the pre-reqs alongside my MSW coursework, with the intention of applying at the end of my MSW. Then I will be working full time as a social worker while I (hopefully) navigate the interview trail. Even though I have a bit of clinical experience and experience working directly with doctors, I'm still going to get some shadowing in. The VA hospital I work at has a large internal medicine residency program, so I'm going to ask the residents if it would be possible to shadow them. Otherwise, I volunteer once a week at the local soup kitchen.