Hello Everyone, This is my first time posting in SDN forums after many years of browsing. Specifically I am posting in regards to receiving general advice on my current situation and the best route for me to apply to Medical School. Background I received my Undergrad degree in Biology in 2016 and completed all of the Medical School prerequisites. I graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.39 and a science GPA of 3.0. I commissioned as Marine Officer in December of 2016 and completed my training in May of 2018. Now I am currently serving as a Combat Engineer Platoon Commander. I am responsible for 45 Enlisted Combat Engineers and I have already served one short deployment on a humanitarian mission and will be deploying again for six months in May. From today I have about 1 year and 9 months left on my contract before I get out. I knew prior to joining the Marine Corps that my long term goal was to become a physician. I chose to become a Marine Officer because I wanted the chance to make a difference in young Marines lives as well as to experience the physical, mental, and spiritual challenge of leading Marines. The past two years has been extremely rewarding and has lived up to the challenge in every way. But now as I have gotten over the halfway hump I am beginning to look towards the future. MCAT One of the primary issues I need guidance on is the MCAT. I have not yet taken the MCAT, nor have I taken any MCAT practice tests. It has been around 3 years since I last took a Biology or Chemistry class and I am definitely rusty on the material. My upcoming deployment takes the majority of my time (spending weeks on end in the field) and I don't know how my schedule will look during the deployment itself. I would like to do some light review and study over the deployment and then commit a solid 6 months of part time study when I get back. But much of the advice I have seen points toward dedicating a solid 3 month full time block of study prior to taking the test. -Does any one have any advice or guidance on how long or when I should begin studying? -With my lower cGPA and sGPA, what score should I be aiming for in respect to both DO and MD? -For someone who has been out of school for a while, what material provides best in depth review of the review of each topic? Low GPA As I understand for MD school a 3.39 cGPA and 3.0 sGPA is well below the average for admission. On top of that I have multiple withdrawals and failure grade replacements. When it comes to the grade trend, you can see from my Freshman year a decrease in grades until I hit second semester of Sophomore year. Then the grades improve until the freshman semester of Senior year. That first semester I just finished Officer Candidates School the summer prior, I lost focus on my long term goal, and my grades suffered. I completed two more semesters after that and my grades improved to all A's and B's before I graduated in Fall of 2016. Understanding the "not so consistent" positive trend and the low cGPA and sGPA: -With a decent MCAT score is MD school a realistic option or should I limit my applications to primarily DO schools? -Should I be considering Post-Bac and SMP programs as an essential to be admitted? -Would retaking any of the Pre-Reqs (Physics II) that I received a C in at a local community college be of any help for an application? Clinical Experience I became a certified EMT-Basic in high school. I did some volunteer fire fighting and volunteered in an emergency room through my senior year of high school. During college I worked as a paid per diem EMT for and worked around a total of 200 hours. I also worked as a scribe in the Emergency Room my senior year of college (2016) and accumulated 1200 hours scribing for Emergency Medicine Physicians and Physician Assistants. I got the opportunity to sit in on several major surgeries and developed some really great relationships with the providers at that ER. Currently I am volunteering at a local hospice center and I plan on volunteering as an EMT when I return from my upcoming deployment. -Cumulative I have around 1400 hours of clinical experience. Do I need more hours in order to be considered competitive? -Is there any other types of clinical experiences that are considered more favorable than others? -Does my time working as a scribe count towards shadowing or do I need to exclusively shadow for those hours to count? Extracurricular In college I did a good variety of extra curricular activities. I played on the rugby team and I was counselor in my Campus Outdoor Leadership Club. I worked for a my campuses alcohol, violence, and education program where I taught classes to fellow students about domestic violence, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse. I also worked as a call responder for a Crisis Hotline number, totaling about 300 hours of call time. I studied abroad in Peru for five weeks and volunteered at a rural health clinic and a special needs home. Being a Marine Officer and platoon commander has definitely been a growing part of my life. I have been through a year and half of intensive leadership training. I had the opportunity to lead a platoon of 45 Combat Engineers during a complicated humanitarian mission where I was responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and I will be taking that same platoon on another 6 month deployment in May. I understand that I would have to find a way to communicate how all these things I have done translate into the decision to pursue medicine and why they would make me a better physician. -How if at all does my military service affect my competitiveness as an applicant? -Are their any veterans out there who know effective ways to translate all they have learned and experienced in the military to into applying for medical school? -Is my lack of research going to negatively impact my application? If so, are their many part time research opportunities for individuals who are no longer full time students? I am sorry for the lengthy post, but after so many years of just having a loose idea of my eventual goal of becoming a physician, I need to begin solidifying how I am going to make it happen. Thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any guidance, advice, or encouragement.