Active Duty Military, need guidance on medical school requirements

I’m currently active duty enlisted in the Marine Corps (rah) and seeking advice on the right path to eventually apply and get into med school. For some SA, I studied a lot of health and medicine in high school in hopes that I would one day work in the medical field because I grew up with both parents working at a hospital (Mom is a DPT and Dad was a CNA, now a Telemetry tech) and have always loved the concept of helping and extending love to others through medicine. That and half my cousins are either doctors or nurses (Filipino tingz haha). I enlisted straight out of high school and thought that I should and could get away from medicine doing communications and electronics (MOS is 2831, Satcomm Technician). Boy, was I wrong; I quickly realized that that field wasn’t for me. After 4 years of procrastinating on what I want to do with my life, I decided I want to pursue a career in medicine. At this time, I’m currently in the midst of the re-enlistment process to do ~3 more years of service in recruiting. I’m hoping to recruit out of Chicago as that’s where home is for me, and the Chi suburbs is where I want to settle down later in life.

Right now I’m taking classes at University of Maryland Global Campus pursuing a BS in Biotechnology. I transferred my JST over to them and they accounted for 33 credits. I also talked to some advisors, and they are all advocating to take some courses to catch up and knock out gen-eds. I made a list and whittled out 15 credits of gen-eds. None of them are really med school prereqs from what I’ve searched. Two English Compositions, one public speaking, one philosophy, and one statistics. I made a plan on how I’m gonna split up these classes if I’m gonna continue on to graduate from UMGC.

Right now, I’m slated to take a bunch of biology classes, 2 semesters worth of chemistry, and a lab management class. I know a lot of schools require organic chemistry but UMGC doesn’t offer it. I’ve done some research on post-bacc programs as well, but don’t know too much about that route. I’m leaning into doing some pre-reqs in-person too when I’m doing recruiting, and/or taking those organic chem classes, but I’m not too sure how that looks like with transfer credits, how med schools will see them and all. My biggest concern is getting through med school using my benefits. I’ve heard about the Illinois Veterans Grant and looked into it, but found no surefire answer. I’d one day love to be able to exhaust my GI Bill on just med school, while finishing my undergrad and/or finishing out those prereqs using Tuition Assistance/Federal Aid.

Also don’t know how online classes/Sophia and CLEP credits are gonna look to med schools. Are they just covered/blanketed as ACE Courses and look like, let’s say, AP credits? Or will there be differentiation. Or will it just not really matter.

I’m also seeking advice on what my road to med school is gonna be like from here. I know that the closest source I have is the faculty and advisors at UMGC, but I’d like to hear from another point of view here on this subreddit. I wanna hear from people who actually went through the pipeline/process, and/or anybody or any vets who can point me in the right direction. It gets pretty lonely in my situation. Not a lot of my peers or anybody I know in the Marine Corps are pursuing education, let alone aiming to go to med school (God forbid a Marine do anything other than shoot guns or support those guys as a warfighting function). That, and we don’t have a lot of those fancy programs that the other branches have that pay more, help more, and do more for their troops. I’ve set my heart on this desire and, God willing, I will achieve it.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time to read, and for all who respond, I want to thank you in advance for your generosity and kindness. For those who will give me harsh and blunt advice, I welcome it with open arms and extend my gratitude as well. It’s a winding and narrow road, but I truly believe there’s someone out there who can at least give me some sort of direction.

Thanks again y’all,

Semper Fi

Hey Marcus,

Pre-med Collaborative can assist you throughout your journey. You can schedule an Introductory Session on our website, or DM @premed_collab on IG.