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Young CST lost and confused about where to go next...


New Member
May 9, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Hope all of you are having a good weekend so far!

I just turned 19, and I'm finishing up my surgical technology license in July. I'm currently finishing up my last bit of clinicals. I graduated from high school early at 17 and ended up in the CST program at my community college. However, I ended up deciding that I didn't want to stop here. I want to go on and get my MD and eventually would like to become a surgeon. I love the OR. However... I don't know where to go from here.

Neither of my parents went to college, I'm an only child, and I've felt lost in navigating the rocky waters of all of the different pathways all on my own. I started to apply to a health sciences program in my state that would allow me to get a bachelors and a Masters in Health Sciences in 2 years online, but I don't think that would be a wise direction to go in.

So I suppose my question is, do I apply for a 4 year university in-person and get a bachelors of biology or something along those lines, then apply for medical school after? What degree should I go for? Do I go ahead with the health sciences program? Should I do it now or continue working as a CST for a couple years? Should I go to First Assistant school before thinking about anything else? Is any of this attainable at all?

Thank you all so much in advance. I'm just feeling very lost here and am struggling to find resources, and my college advisors cannot give much advice. I'm significantly younger than any of my classmates or OR workers and often get huffed at when I mention wanting to continue my education. Some surgeons I've worked with have been very encouraging, but none of them have advice for somebody who went to CC and is a CST trying to get an MD. Any advice or suggestions are helpful.


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2018
  1. Non-Student
Most medical schools will not accept online coursework, so I would definitely pursue a traditional four-year program. As far as your major is concerned, I would pursue what interests you. Medical schools do not particularly care about your major, as long as you satisfy the necessary prerequisites. I would take the time necessary to ensure that you have an excellent application--great ECs, high GPA, and a strong MCAT--remembering that the key is excellence not speed (60% of applicants are not admitted to a single school).
Last edited:


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2017
  1. Medical Student
Applying to a 4 year university will give you the best chance to get into medical school. What sorts of classes did you take at CC, and do you think any of them could transfer? You'd definitely want to take the science prerequisites at the university but if you can avoid some of the gen ed stuff it will save you time and money. The degree you apply into won't matter, choose something you'll enjoy and will allow you to get good grades: bio is fine, so is history/english or whatever, but avoid engineering. Avoid schools known for grade deflation.

The application deadline for the sorts of universities you should be applying for is usually 1/1, so the earliest you could start would be September 2021, so you'll probably have to spend some time working first. If you're able to work as a surgical tech, that will help your med school application a ton as well as open up the option to apply PA if you decide that the med school path is too long. I wouldn't bother focusing on anything else though other than working enough to sustain yourself and pulling together a college application.

You are probably a pretty good candidate for a 7 year combined BS/MD as you are already a bit older than the average college applicant, will have a ton more experience, and have a solid reason for choosing medicine as a career. I would look into those programs as they'll help you save a year of time and tuition.


I sell propane and propane accessories.
2+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2019
  1. Medical Student
My wife actually works in the OR with a surgeon who started out just like you! She is out of the OR working on the floor due to covid right now, but I can ask her to talk to him about his path if you'd like.

As far as getting your bachelors degree, I would work the next year as it is a little late to apply for four year schools with a fall 2020 start. Take a some juco classes over the next year (english, history, etc) that will get you out of some gen eds at a traditional university, but save your science classes for the four year school. Pick a major in something you're interested in, it doesn't matter as long as you do well. Most importantly don't feel rushed. Take the time to build a strong app (good grades, longitudinal volunteering with the underserved, some research, some shadowing) and apply when you feel ready.
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