Non trad, pre health advice

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10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2010
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This is my first post, and I wanted to get the question out of my head before it turned my brain into soggy corn flakes. Please be patient with me and what will most likely be some ******ed questions.

I am 26 going on 27. I thought I wanted to become an RN as my end goal but am realizing more and more that I want to do something more with myself. I am still in comm. college working towards an ASN (would've started sooner but spent 6 years in the military)

I have always thought about becoming a doctor and am at the point now where I can devote myself to it... but I think I'm too old. I've read the I'm (insert age) threads and think you 30,40,50 plus students are amazing and an inspiration. I'm worried I'm too far behind the curve and not even at the pre-med level. I'm pretty sure if I switched tracks I could bang out my BS in about 3 years. I hold pretty good grades average a 3.6 and grad top of my class for EMT. I guess I'm just looking for others thoughts and opinions.

I became an EMT and am also completing my paramedics because I love helping people. I thought nursing was the way to go until I ran into a 40 something resident in my local ER who completely changed my perspective. I'm always on the docs and nurses like white on rice trying to observe and learn whatever possible. The resident took the time to talk with me and answer some questions and even applauded my curiosity and willingness to learn as much as I can. I understand that all the fields I mentioned are different disciplines, but am curious on the opinions of people who might have been there (previous EMT/Para/RN?)

Thanks for taking the time to read this mess....

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you were in the military, is it possible to get them to pay for med school for you?

you're not too old, I'm 34 and still a pre-med, hoping to apply next year, I have to get my GPA up, and take the MCAT, most of the ECs I have knocked out already.

Also taken the EMT cert, and did years with similar training... Won't hurt you to have it, etc...

How far into your ASN program are you? Is it possible to finish and convert it to a BSN? That would knock out your BS degree and get you more money in one shot, It won't hurt you to be a nurse and then apply to med school, it gives you all that wonderful patient-contacty stuff that the ADCOMs supposedly get gooey-eyed for ;)

if it's your dream GO FOR IT!

Best of luck!
I'm using my G.I. Bill (military) for school now. I figure my EMT / Paramedic and general pre-reqs will be paid for with that, then I will work to put myself through the rest.

I'm only on the pre-req with the ASN program. I could transfer to ASU or another college and finish out the four year requirement. That's a really good idea... I would have my BS knocked out and be able to work as a nurse to pay for med school.

Thanks for the insight!!!
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You're not too old. Life will go on whether or not you are doing what you want to do, so you might as well do what you want.

Are you in AZ? How long have you been on the waiting list? Could you use the G.I. bill to go to ASU for a different degree? Only suggestions if you are extremely concerned about time. The RN program isn't long but it stinks when you have to wait two years to even get into the program.

I think the RN is a good career and a good backup to have if medicine doesn't work out, but if it's not what you really want then why do it?
I am a current practicing Rn in the process of med school application right now. The experience you will gain as a nurse is GREAT patient contact experience, and you will learn a ton. That being said, if I were in your shoes, I would finish up my BS in whatever was quickest and apply right away to med school, skipping the nursing route. Medic stuff is patient contact too, and sinc eyou already have the EMT, it is not more time wasted. Just my 2 cents...kinda wish I had listened to my own advice way back when :oops:. Good luck in whatever route you choose!!
Stef, yes I am in AZ. I'm not on the waiting list yet. That's part of my dilemma. If I can find a four year program that will start me now (GCU, Chamberlain) then I'm going to jump on it. The whole idea being I can knock out my undergrad requirement AND have something to supplement my income and pay for med. school while I'm going through it.
I'm not 100% set on my route yet. I have an appt. with an advisor next week. I'm on the community college track and not the transfer to University track. If I can find a nursing program that starts soonest, I'm in. If not, I don't know what I can get a degree in that will help me pay for med school while I'm going.
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You said supplement your income and pay for med school while going through it--keep in mind that it is just about impossible (and not recommended) to work during medical school. It is just too demanding. Even if you worked one day a week during first and second year, it is just about impossible in third and fourth year during rotations, since the schedules are unpredictable. This without mentioning you will want to be studying when you are not in class or at a rotation.

If that is the motive for doing RN, rethink it. Medical school requires most people to take out lots of loans. I do understand wanting to limit the amount of debt but it's not practical to work during med school to achieve this.

I think you should finish your paramedic program and work as a paramedic while finishing your bachelor's. Pick something that you enjoy and add on the prereqs or just pick something that will allow the prereqs to count towards the degree so you can complete it relatively quickly.
I think you should finish your paramedic program and work as a paramedic while finishing your bachelor's. Pick something that you enjoy and add on the prereqs or just pick something that will allow the prereqs to count towards the degree so you can complete it relatively quickly.

This sounds like an excellent suggestion. Paramedic work will also give you high-quality clinical experience for your medical school apps, and the program should be quicker and cheaper to complete than a BSN.

There's another reason I'd advise this route: adcoms may question why you want to become a doctor if you're already a nurse. I have heard multiple times from nurses on SDN that they have encountered this kind of resistance when applying to med school.