Aug 1, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
So I am kind of in a unique situation involving my academic history and my experiences so far; however, I would like to get kind of a "ballpark" estimate on possibility of MD school upon B.S. completion.

Things do get a bit awkward here. Currently I have two GPA's, my university-only GPA and my university and military experience GPA combined. Before completing my B.S. I worked as a linguist in the Army and I was sent to DLI. There I received a 3.95 GPA overall in the 60 credits that I took there. However, my first year at college wasn't the best because of illness and also I failed to get DSS support like I should have. Therefore my GPA calculations are the following as of my first year, (I have 4 years remaining).

University only
2.87
University and Military
3.43

I am aware it is just my first year, but I am a bit nervous considering other people have higher GPAs than I do. As for clinical experience, I haven't done any shadowing; however, I am finishing up an internship and I will be first author for three short reports to be submitted and published by the end of September. I was just wondering what other things can I do to really increase my chances? The problem with me is I am usually not the best test taker, anxiety and stress get to me at times; however, my expertise is usually what really pulls me along. I just wanted to get some overall things on what I should do and improve on for the future and my chances if anyone can project!
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,587
78,785
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Non-Student
First off, many thanks to you for your service to our country.

A 3.4 cGPA will be fine for a veteran, especially at your state school.
I am aware it is just my first year, but I am a bit nervous considering other people have higher GPAs than I do.

You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years. Thus, you have to do some patient contact volunteering.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Your need to improve your GPAs more because you need to demonstrate that you can handle med school

As for clinical experience, I haven't done any shadowing; however, I am finishing up an internship and I will be first author for three short reports to be submitted and published by the end of September. I was just wondering what other things can I do to really increase my chances?

The bold is a major problem and will prevent you from getting into med school or doing well in med school. We're addictive to high stakes career deciding exams, starting with MCAT and going through Boards. Fortunately, these things are fixable. Get to your school's learning or education for help with test taking strategies, and more importantly, to your school's counseling center for help with test anxiety issues.

The problem with me is I am usually not the best test taker, anxiety and stress get to me at times; however, my expertise is usually what really pulls me along. I just wanted to get some overall things on what I should do and improve on for the future and my chances if anyone can project![/QUOTE]
 
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OP
K
Aug 1, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
@Goro

Thank you for the litany of information you provided me. When it comes to tests I don't think that I worded it the best way when it comes to anxiety and stress. I actually perform well on tests, the problems with some of my classes like Orgo and Calculus was not a matter of being stressed and that keeping me from getting the correct answer. My grades on tests are usually low due to the fact that I fail to show my work when needed. I am currently getting disability support for ADD at my school and hopefully this will help. As for tests being high-stakes I can't believe I never even put down my annual DLPT (language test I have to take). Its a 6 hour test comprised of listening and reading that:
  • tells me whether or not I am good enough at my job
  • allowed to be on orders for training or support
  • the difference between 0-5k extra money each year
Kind of the overall thing that really inhibits my ability to get the clinical experience that I want is the fact that I am still technically in the military. I work as a reservist and because of the commitment from them, I typically do not have a summer readily available. The only way I would have one is if I excluded language training from my annual commitment. (Which I had to do this year). I am not sure what kind of shadowing or programs they have for places like Walter Reed or other military medical facilities but that is something I do have to look into.

Secondly for clinical experience/human based interaction experience goes I do have a very good friend of mine who is participating in his schools EMT subordinate program where he works as an EMT. For me, probably the most exciting times in the military involved my training and work with doing emergency care. However, the emergency care that soldiers receive is a bit different than that of other professionals. Since I really do enjoy that aspect, I was looking at using my money from the military to pay for EMT classes, for me it would be essentially free because of my time in service; however, I wanted to know if that would even be a significant boon for me or not considering that it will also be a source of commitment for me.

Now I also do have the ability to switch my MOS once my contract is up (which it will be in about 18 months) or possibly earlier. They are heavily and always taking people in for medical especially for the positions of combat medic(previously 68W) and also 68C (essentially Army LPN). For me, I would love to have one of these MOSs rather than a translator; however, it does come with the commitment of the training. The training for 68W being 22 weeks and for 68C being a whole year. For me, the training would be completely free. Problem being is that I will miss school, I just don't know whether this training is good enough to miss school for? I mean I know I'm already old (22) and I'm already balding so if it means I miss school for a year than oh well; however, I don't know whether or not the training I would receive would be worth it or not. I was wondering if you had any input on that by any chance?
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,587
78,785
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Old????? Some of my all time best students have been in their 30s and 40s! I graduated a stellar one last year at 50!

You don't need to be a combat medic for med school. If you want to do it because you're truly interested in it, then go for it, and get it out of the way.
 
May 4, 2015
61
46
As Goro said, MOS change isn't necessary at all, especially if you were linguistics. I think you should be good just doing your job and going to school.
Some people try to get things out of the way, such as picking up additional skills (diving/demolitions/halo/etc). But, I only recommend doing so if you have something crazy lined up, like someone with a ranger slot or E4s getting a shot at the 18-series.
 
OP
K
Aug 1, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
As Goro said, MOS change isn't necessary at all, especially if you were linguistics. I think you should be good just doing your job and going to school.
Some people try to get things out of the way, such as picking up additional skills (diving/demolitions/halo/etc). But, I only recommend doing so if you have something crazy lined up, like someone with a ranger slot or E4s getting a shot at the 18-series.

Makes total sense, also I'm a complete and total idiot for forgetting my language. Apparently becoming a certified medical interpreter is a thing and I have been tested in Korean multiple times to prove proficiency so I am highly certain I would pass the rest of qualifications. I do have interpreting experience from my military job obviously. Would this be a more worthwhile thing to pursue? I understand it may be glorious but is it something that will set me off from other applicants?
 
May 4, 2015
61
46
is it something that will set me off from other applicants?
No. Being part of the Army is proof enough that you can work with others as a team, follow orders, and adapt as situations arise. You are given some credit for it. Try to volunteer but don't forget your duties, to both your family and the army. Since you have 4 years remaining, get a chance at your nearest clinic, like 4 hours per week, that will accrue you sufficient hours that no one will question. Do good at school and the mcat, and you will be set. For shadowing, just go ask at your nearest medical facility. Most army docs are cool about it, since they are not constantly bombarded like in the civilian world.