Advice for embarking on this journey

Well first let me introduce myself. My name is Nick, and I am currently deployed to Iraq with the Army. I am 25 years old, happily married with a beautiful 1 year old son, and have been in the army for going on 6 years. During this time I have been romping around the world as a combat medic. I have also managed to complete 45 semester hours and currently have a GPA of 3.4. I have so many questions I dont know where to begin. I am currently obligated to the army for a little less than 4 years and I am looking for any advice on making it to medical school that you guys can give. Currently I am about to begin a BS degree in liberal arts from Penn States online program with my goal being to complete the degree prior to getting out of the army. Due to the fact that online lab courses fall seriously short of the mark as for what is required for medical school, I plan on attending a post-bacc pre med program after I get out of the army. I am at the beggining of this road but I am determined to become a doctor. My exposure to medicine has been very broad ranging. I have served as a senior line medic for the 101st AA during the initial stages in Iraq from 03-04. I saw a lot of things from severe trauma that myself and the two other medics with me had to treat with what we could carry on our backs, as well as being responsible for the every day care of over 145 people in an extremely harsh environment to include performing minor procedures such as toenail removal, cyst removal, suturing, etc… Curently I am assigned to a field hospital unit that sees quite a few serious trauma cases routinely(sad to say)and I am experiencing a more emergency room type of situation rather than a first responder type role. All in all I have come to enjoy medicine and I want to expand my knowledge and challenges as far as possible. Well, I guess that is about it for now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Welcome! God speed that you come home safe and soon! Thank you for everything you are doing over there…know that you have support for all you are doing to keep us safe!

As for your plan, I think it is a good one. Considering your situation, online for your bachelors is best. Then with a post-bacc and your tremendous ECs, I only see success in your future as you pursue your goal!

Take care,


Heya medic.

First off…thanks for serving. It’s people like you that make this country great.

As a vet myself I have some experience in this area. The online degree sounds like a good idea. I can’t think of a better way to spend your time while you’re pounding sand in Iraq. You’ll still have to do some or all of your med school pre-reqs, but that’s better than having to do the whole degree. Also, having a degree gives you some opportunities via the military as well. I’d look into a comissioning program that transitions you into the medical field. Talk to a career counselor and see what they think. The military might just hold your hand all the way through, which could put you in a really good position financially.

Welcome, medicman!

Your plan sounds good. One thing to be aware of is that you do NOT need to do a formal postbac program (not sure if you knew this or not). You can “do it yourself” at any convenient college, preferably a four year institution.

Hello medicman.

Texas has a program called the Hazelwood Act. The program waives tuition and some fees in higher education for those veterans who have been in the military during conflicts (I think you’ve got that covered). If you are not from Texas, then I would check to see if a similar program exists in your home state.