Hey guys! I just joined OPM and I’ve been listening to all the podcasts (OPM & TPY) and they’ve been a ton of help, but I feel like I need a bit more. I’ll try to keep it short…actually I know it won’t be short. I have some baggage lol
Current Job: Staff Sergeant in Army, working as Arabic linguist and signals intelligence analyst
Ok…here we go!
- After graduating high school in 2004, I attended a Division I SEC school for track (on scholarship)
- I was a pre-med/biomedical sciences major/Spanish minor
- I was very sheltered growing up and for that reason, I went wild in college and lost my scholarship.
- I transferred schools, got a scholarship, but had to change my major to Spanish to remain eligible for athletics.
- After 5 years of school, I was burned out, and I enlisted in the Army as an Arabic linguist…oh and didn’t get my degree
- I attended the Defense Language Institute (DLI) for 1.5 years where I learned Arabic (talk about drinking from a firehose!)
- I graduated from DLI with a 3.58 and have been passing the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) for the past 7 years (I have been active duty for 8 years)
- Since my time in, I have attended tons of technical/language/leadership/special skills courses and even went to a selection course for one of those “high-speed” units (I was selected).
- The military recently began a program called the Enlisted to Medical Degree Prep Program (EMDP2). At the time, I had 3 months to submit my packet, because I was to deploy in the near future. I only needed 10 credits to finish my degree and I did that in 2 months. I had to take an ACT, signed up on stand-by, got a spot, and scored a 28. The plan was to retake it, so that I could dedicate some study time to it, but I settled with the 28. I was running out of time!!! I gathered up all of my LORs, LOI, commissioning physical, evaluation reports, and all that admin nonsense. I submitted my packet with confidence and got rejected the same day, because my cumulative GPA was under 3.2 (the instructions didn’t say cumulative GPA). That was a sad day. I had never been so sad and angry in my life. I was then told to go and try be a PA via the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) :oops: So I started to work on my packet for IPAP and shadowed 2 PAs on weekends and holidays until I reached 80+ hours (accomplished in 2 months). On my last day of shadowing, I knew that I didn’t want to be a PA.
- In regards to EMDP2, I went to speak with the Ret. CSM of the program. She heard me out and brought up my concerns to the boards. The just recently changed the requirements (for Army), so now if you have a sub 3.2 but a Masters, you’re eligible to apply. So the CSM told me to go get a Masters in Public Health or Business Admin. I didn’t agree with that response, so now I’m here on the forum seeking guidance from anyone. I’m meeting up with two of my friends, who are physicians, this week as well.
- I’m going through all my transcripts this week, but I still don’t think I can accurately determine my GPAs. I have credits from 4 colleges (2 online), DLI, and credits from taking DLPTs and language refresher courses. According to the EMDP2 guy who rejected my packet, I have a 2.71 cGPA. think I have a ~2.7-2.8 sGPA
I have about 230 credits…Oh yea I did FINALLY get my Bachelor’s in LA with an Arabic concentration, 7 years after dropping out of my second university. Of note, I have a significant upward trend from DLI and my online courses. When I thought IPAP was my only option, I took Anatomy thru UNE. I got a B+ even though I was on Temporary Duty (TDY) for half of the course.
- I finished all of the medical school pre-requisites at brick and mortar schools. My grades aren’t the best because I NEVER studied. I never had to study in high school, so I didn’t know how to study in college. Plus, I was running track like it was my job, well I was on scholarship. And I was partying like there was no tomorrow. Soooo here are my sad science grades…
2004 Chemistry I/Lab - C/A
2004 Calculus - B
2005 Biology - C
2005 Chemistry II/Lab - C/A
2005 Organismal Biology - B
2005 Physics - C
2006 Org Chem I/Lab - A/A
2006 Microbiology - D
2006 Org Chem II/Lab - F/A (later got C in Chem II)
2007 Genetics - C
2017 Anatomy (online) - B+
2007 School 1 (92 credits) - 2.90
2009 School 2 (72 credits)- 1.90
2011 DLI (45 credits) - 3.58
2014 (3 credits) - 4.0
2016 Excelsior (10 credits) - 3.33 (Taken in one semester for EMDP2)
2017 UNE (4 credits) - 3.0
I still have Tuition Assistance but I can only use it for chemistry I & II since I have my Bachelor’s already. I am eligible to use it to pursue a Master’s.
Because I’m a linguist, I can’t easily justify to my unit to allow me to pursue my medical career. I’d have to do it in my free time, and I’m perfectly ok with that.
I will be out of the Army in 26 months.
Should I retake some of my pre-reqs, do a post-bac or SMP, and/or just study for the MCAT for the next year and apply to med school in 2018-2019? I know how to study know that I’m a grown-up lol.
What do you guys think?
Does the fact that I studied Arabic for 8+ hours a day for 1.5 years count for something? It sucked…
Thanks for taking the time to read this!