"Veterans turned premed" opinons/advice/observations

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by premedphilosopher, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. premedphilosopher

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    Anybody else here a veteran that is now attempting to do the premed thing and go to medical school? I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions/advice on your experiences with any part of the process!

    Personally, I dropped out of school the first semester after getting out of the Army and was stuck with 2 F's and a few W's as well. I took more time off before I went back, and I will have all of my prereq's done after this semester. I'm looking forward to continuing on! One thing I know I'm lacking now is volunteering/shadowing experience as I had to take so many remedial courses (6 years since I had seen any type of math or science lol) and haven't had much time.
     
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  3. theLastprocastination

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    Wow. I am/was/kinda still am In Your shoes. Military and non trad. The last time I was in college full time was in 2013. Thank you for your service.
    I’m active duty. Did my prereqs( a few classes), shadowing, mcat studying active duty. Applied this cycle and got very good responses and a couple acceptances.
    Military background definitely helps your application but does not carry it. I felt people recognized and appreciated my service for a second, and then it was back to business. At the very least, it helps you warm up during interviews.
    Veterans ( given you’ve honorable discharge) come with mostly demonstrated values like hardworking punctuality team player responsible etcetra. So expound in your experience. Use your experience to display what you’ve gained and earned. Gives some points.
    I’m a below average applicant ( except mcat about average ) and I got in. So keep your head up you’ll do fine. If you’ve any specific question that you don’t want to discuss publicly, feel free to PM me.
     
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  4. premedphilosopher

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    Thanks for the response and for your service as well! Did you decide to go the military route or are you pursuing civilian medicine? I am glad that military experience can be beneficial, I was kind of worried that if anything it would hurt me because schools wanted younger applicants that will have longer medical careers?.
     
  5. theLastprocastination

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    i Think I’ll go civilian route. Since I’ve whole of GI bill, my student loans will be way less than 150K. Under 100k if I play it cheap. I think doing HPSP and payback and getting out in first available chance is also a good deal, I just couldn’t do it because I really want to spend the summer with my wife ( she won’t be moving to school with me).

    Military experience definitely helps you. Do some search in sdn, there have been plenty of veterans here who’ve gotten accepted. Being strategic in portraying your military experience can take you far.

    One of my interviewers thanked me for my service and said that my gpa was pretty low to have gotten an interview. I got in to that school. :)

    So your service definitely adds to you as a person and helps adcom to see you as a complete person than just a paper pile.
     
  6. premedphilosopher

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    All very good to hear. I unknowingly burned about 3 semesters worth of my GI Bill at the local community college before I realized I could use it to pay for medical school (that's going to end up being a very costly mistake!).Congrats on your acceptance, I wish you the best of luck!
     
  7. MarineMDHopeful

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    Hey you two, Marine grunt here. Just graduated with a couple bachelors and just had an incredibly successful application cycle. So, don't lose hope schools absolutely loved my service and I got into schools WAY above my stats. I love vets and if either of you have questions or concerns feel free to ask me either on this thread or PM me. You guys got this!
     
  8. premedphilosopher

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    Army grunt here haha, congrats on your acceptances! Did you focus heavily on your service in your personal statement/essays/interview or did you focus more on academics?
     
  9. MarineMDHopeful

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    Honestly, it was a mixed bag. I didn't go super in depth about my service since I was a grunt and not like a medic but I definitely framed my PS as the service gave me my original interest in medicine.
     
  10. theLastprocastination

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    I went semi heavy on my in service experiences. My shadowing experiences and clinical-ish experiences were all somehow related to service so I had to. Of course, leadership questions all ended with military. I think about 25% of my PS and secondary were military related.another 25% was my upbrinigng and life experience and the other half was my academics. Other than the one academic LOR, even my other 3-4 LORs were military folks.
     
  11. premedphilosopher

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    Really wish I would have gotten a couple of those before I got out.
     
  12. theLastprocastination

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    How long ago did you get out. Otherwise, I’m sure you can cal them up and get a few.
     
  13. premedphilosopher

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    4 years roughly, but a couple of different phones. I suppose I can try and track down some contact info. I worked protection and got to know a full bird pretty well, I am sure that would carry some weight. Do you think various NCO's would be worthwhile to get a letter from?
     
  14. RNtoMD87

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    5 years in the Army as Military Police. Deployed in 2008. Got out, became a Nurse on GI Bill, and plan to go to med school using the remaining GI Bill I have.
     
  15. schmoob

    Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    Make sure you look into Chapter 31 if you're eligible. It's an amazing program, more generous than Chapter 33.
     
  16. RNtoMD87

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    Ive been using post 9/11.
     
  17. theLastprocastination

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    Full bird definitely.

    Ncos. That I’m not sure. I’m sure they can speak about your work ethics and personality but make sure they have a college degree or can even write professionally. A huge majority of ncos I’ve met have a degree from Phoenix online and cannot write for s**t
     
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  18. theLastprocastination

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    Voc rehab if you’re eligible. I’ll try to change over myself
     
  19. RNtoMD87

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    Isnt voc rehab for disabled vets?
     
  20. RNtoMD87

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    Many of my NCOs I had were so ignorant that it was a culture shock. I mean barely literate.
     
  21. MarineMDHopeful

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    You qualify as long as you're 30% or more disability.
     
  22. RNtoMD87

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    Ah I'm only 10%.
     
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  23. MarineMDHopeful

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    I JUST got upgraded to 30% from 10% you should go to the DAV to get your rating increased.
     
  24. RNtoMD87

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    Well my only concern is I don't know where any of my medical records are. I was seen for one of my knees (don't even remember which one) when I was in, and got medicated for ADHD while I was in. I don't have any of these records though.
     
  25. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive That’s one cute lil’ ol’ granny.
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    I'm still active duty and doing the EMDP2 linkage program, but I still figured I'd check in. PO1 in the Navy commissioning next summer between the grad year and M1. Good luck to the OP, and congrats to those of you with acceptances.
     
  26. theLastprocastination

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    Contact your last MTF, they should still have it.
     
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  27. theLastprocastination

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    Good luck to you! I know some success story off of emdp2! A friend of mine got picked for this upcoming emdp2 army! Quite an intriguing opportunity
     
  28. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive That’s one cute lil’ ol’ granny.
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    Great! I'll see him in August then. All the Army peeps in Corhort 4 are solid, so he'll have a good sponsor no matter who he gets. I'm looking forward to seeing who the Navy selectees are. I'm rooting for a few people on this forum.
     
  29. xffan624

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    You should have been given those prior to out processing. Either way go to your local VA center and ask for help in filing a claim for both of those. But if you can't actually remember which knee was the problem and you're not actually having problems with it, you're probably unlikely to get a percentage for it.
     
  30. RNtoMD87

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    Well I have problems with both knees now, but not consistently. Mostly during cold weather, or when powerlifting. They're my "weakest link", but its not a day to day problem. I did receive my medical records upon etsing but I've made a number of moves since then after my farm got flooded with a few feet of water last august. Ill have to see if I can get my records.
     
  31. maddeh87

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    I did exactly that. I did 8 years active duty Air Force, and then got out, joined the air guard, and started school. The guard covers all instate tuition in my state, so I got to save my GI bill for medical school. I've been able to get the ECs that other premed students have as well; I had patient contact experience (EMT, both volunteer and paid) and undergrad research. My stats weren't terrible but they weren't great (3.61cGPA/3.69sGPA, 506 MCAT), but I've had three interview invites and one acceptance (waiting to hear back from one of the schools next week). I'd definitely say the military service was seen as a benefit, and but mainly it was going back to school as an adult with discipline and a clear goal in mind that helped me the most. Before I went back to school, I had a 2.7 GPA (a smattering of Cs, a D, a W, and an F) but since I got out I've gotten an A in everything so far, so as long as they can see a strong upward trend and do well in higher level science courses, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Don't worry about your age, that won't be a factor. There are people in their 40s and 50s going to medical school, and I'll be 30 when I start this fall.

    One thing that will help definitely help your app is having undergraduate research. If you're still in undergrad, apply for an REU program. I did one through Harvard, and they really embrace veterans and actively seek them out; it was absolutely invaluable experience and I still work there part time.
     
  32. premedphilosopher

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    Voc rehab can be used to pay for medical school?? Is that a guaranteed thing or is it something you have to apply for?
     
  33. premedphilosopher

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    An REU program? I have never heard of that before, I will look into it (I have 2 years left so might as well!).
     
  34. xffan624

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    The latter. There's a great thread in the non trad forum to advise you on strategies if you search for it
     
  35. premedphilosopher

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    I'll look that up. So I guess it would be still wise to not use my post 911 for undergrad and save it for med school. Then when that runs out I can cross my fingers and hope that I can get voc rehab!
     
  36. premedphilosopher

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    Unfortunately this is very true, leadership in the military (at least in the infantry world) is definitely not based on reading/writing ability haha
     
  37. premedphilosopher

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    If you file a VA claim then you don't need your records. They will pull them on their own as they work through the process. I strongly recommend you go to a VSO (google it in your area, they are usually at a VFW or American Legion or similar) they will walk you through the whole thing and it is very painless.
     
  38. xffan624

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    Save your GI bill regardless. Even if you don't get a voc rehab. It's worth a lot more in med school than in undergrad.
     
  39. premedphilosopher

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    I wish I had realized this earlier, I burned 3 semesters worth of it at my $50 per credit community college haha
     
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  40. esob

    esob Protomolecule
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    You can apply for Ch 31 w/ 10%
     
  41. maddeh87

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  42. astrostellar

    astrostellar Eternal Pre-Med
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    AD AF looking at getting out in 2020 and applying in '22. I also have some terrible grades dragging down my GPA from almost a decade ago. Solidarity!
     
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