25 years old

Hello everyone. Really glad i foundthis website because I freak out about this decision from time to time and start doubting myself.

I’m going to be starting school in a brick and mortar university come this fall. I have a couple of questions about how i should proceed.

I know I need to get involved in themedical professin in some way. Would putting off school to get an emt-b be a good way to do this?

Also, as far as shadowing is concerned, how do you find someone to shadow? How do you get around hipaa?

I’ve completed 28 hours of school throug distance learning while in the military. Should i not even report these credits and start over? When applying for med school will this cause issues?

Also, it would be nice for someone to tell me I’m not crazy and a 25 year old can actually do this…

Ughh typing on a tablet is tough…

i decided to get a couple of quick certifications before i start my postbacc classes at the university. i figured this would open up way more hands-on volunteer (and part-time paid) work for me. since i plan on starting some post-bacc classes in the fall semester, i can go to a vocational school or community college to get the certifications this summer.

so, i plan on getting STNA and EMT-B certifications, which looks like 6-9 credit hours.

to me, this is a smart professional stepping stone rather than putting things off.

(and i’m 37).

benarcen -

Regarding your distance learning credits - you will have to report them as ALL courses you ever took must be reported. But they will likely not count for core prerequisites - you may need to retake these courses.

Regarding the emt-b. Having the certification is not that big a plus. But it might be valuable especially if there is a volunteer company you can participate in during your post-bacc. Alternatively, maybe you can work parttime using that certification.



Welcome to OPM,

I agree with lebowski8 and kate429, the EMT-B certification will certainly be good for you to pave your way towards your goal, but do not put off school for that, depending on your current situation you might even be able to get it concurrently while in school.

I assume you are starting school for a bachelor’s degree which is fundamental. I does not matter which major you are in as long as you fulfill all the prerequisites for medical school.

As for shadowing, I am trying to figure that one out for myself, so I will tell you when I am successful with that. The word on the forum is to contact your county medical association and ask for physicians willing to take persons for shadowing.

I hope this help, and remember, at your age, you have the luxury of time, so do it right from the first time on.

Welcome again and please keep us all posted on your progress…

Hey thanks for the advice everyone. My major was Public Health while going through the distance learning school but who knows if it was even really accredited, I believe it was but I never felt certain. Anyway ULL doesn’t offer public health and I’m not sure if that would be a good major for post anyway so I’ll major in Biology.

Guess I’ll try school and get the emt-b at the same time. Should be exciting, lol. The way things are right now I have to wait to begin. Just seperated from the military but we’re waiting for our child to finish school before moving him to another city so I’m in limbo.Which leads to another questions.

Is volunteering in hospital situations a plus for applying to med school? I most probably couldn’t find anything too involved but definately in the hospital. Should I fill my free time with something of this nature or try and get a job as a CNA?

I think I’d volunteer in something there, and then volunteer somewhere else when you all move (establishing a pattern of you being involved in community service wherever you are…). It need not be hospital - meals on wheels, animal shelter, etc are fine. The pieces you want are:

volunteer service


some sort of medical exposure (that would lead admissions committees to feel that you know what you are getting into).

Sometimes people volunteer in clinical jobs inhospital (ER scribe is a good example) where they get some medical “exposure”, but if you are planning to do EMT you will have that medical experience. Volunteer at something that relates to your interests that you care about - and it’s not a bad idea to keep a “journal” of experiences when volunteering as sometimes you are asked what was one of your most significant volunteer experiences and whay, or something similar. Doesn’t hurt to still be able to recall some details


Thanks for breaking it down to a simple list. I suppose I’ll use my free time I have now to volunteer where I can and rely on the EMT-b to get my medical exposure.

I’m gonna play Devil’s Advocate.

The EMT-B thing is kind of weird according to some advisers I’ve talked to. I was a full time paramedic (EMT-P) in a metropolitan area before going back to school as a premed (I’m 25 too). I never wanted to be a doctor or anything close but my experiences changed my mind. Apparently my situation is more meaningful than someone who just gets an EMT-B and “kind-of” works or “kind-of” uses it to volunteer once already being a premed. I don’t know if that’s true but it brings up an interesting point. You don’t need a certification to participate in a lot of volunteering/low level experience in the medical field. If you absolutely have a semester to burn and you absolutely can’t do anything else useful then I guess getting a cert is good. But if you do 1000 hours as an EMT-B for a volunteer agency (Aka not that busy and VERY limited protocols), I dont think adcoms will look at you differently then someone who does 1000 hours playing with and assisting kids on the pediatric oncology floor. EMT-B is definitely defined by the B part: Basic. I also can’t tell you how many EMT’s I worked with that were premed, started working, and got sucked into the full time world because they made a little money and realized what life was like with only a (easy) job and tons of free time relative to their premed life.

Put simply, you can get the same impact on your application without spending time/money on a course. I used to think being a paramedic would somehow help me but that’s false. I’ve given drugs, intubated, and managed critical patients. But the more you read and get into the premed world the more you learn they don’t care about that. There are a lot of people who have done those same things that you would never want as your doctor. It really is as simple as above average grades and MCAT, community service, medical experience, and being a good/empathetic person. The last three you can do for free!

Again, I’m being Devil’s Advocate because you don’t always get the whole picture on the EMT-B route. If you still want to do it after reading this then I think you should. Good luck and never worry about age.

I am a 34 year old trying to do this - so 25 year old - it should be possible.

I will be 35 when I start in August.