Back again

Howdy folks - (long post warning)

I originally started here back in late 2010 and had a temporary delay while going through military retirement, new job(s), relocation, yada yada. I also temporarily questioned the goal of medical school. For awhile I was weighing the pros/cons and I thought the cons were winning, but time and reflection has convinced me that this is an unrealized goal that will always eat at me if I don’t pursue it.

Here’s where I stand:

PA-C for 14 years

retired from the Army in 2010 (23 years)

B.S. (PA school) 98, MPAS 00, MPH 05

Cumulative GPA 3.8, PA school - 3.68

I’m looking at taking pre-med courses at UT-Dallas for about two years since I’m essentially going to need to take everything due to taking truncated versions going on 15 years ago.

This is my rough draft of a course schedule plan:

1ST SEMESTER - 12 hours

HUMAN A&P (w/lab) I - 4 hours

GEN CHEM I - 3 hours

GEN CHEM LAB I - 1 hour


2nd SEMESTER - 12 hours

HUMAN A&P (w/lab) II - 4 hours

GEN CHEM II - 3 hours

GEN CHEM LAB II - 1 hour



3rd SEMESTER - 11 hours


ORG CHEM I - 3 hours

ORG CHEM LAB I - 1 hour



4th SEMESTER - 11 hours

ORG CHEM II - 3 hours

ORG CHEM LAB II - 1 hour



I’d appreciate any feedback on how good (realistic) this plan is as well as any other feedback or advice about my goal in general. I’m not sure I need the diff calc course, but other than biostats I haven’t taken any math since high school. It’s listed as a pre-req for physics, although I have to talk to a pre-health counselor to see if I have better options.

I’m planning on taking the MCAT near the end of the 2nd year, although I know there’s a timing issue with med school application so I may have to delay that. I want to have a good grounding in the material even though I’ll use some sort of study program for the test as well.

I’m going to apply through TMDSAS (Texas) which hopefully will be enough to get me accepted to at least one school so I can take advantage of all the in-state rates & vet benefits.


Thank you for serving for 23 years!

1st Comment on your schedule. Anatomy isn’t required for most medical schools. The fact that you’ve been a PA for 14 years tells me you probably already have a good basic knowledge. That is one class (two if you count both semesters) that you don’t need to waste time on.

2nd Comment, more of a curriosity. Feel free to private message me if you don’t want to answer here. I’m very interested in your thinking about going to medical school after being a PA. What is missing? What aren’t you happy with? This is a personal question and one for professional curiosity because I talk to all my techs about going to PA school or medical school.


Thanks for your comments and advice Ryan.

I have to clarify the credit hour requirement for TMDSAS and whether I would get some consideration with my background. There is a 14 hour requirement for bio sciences and that’s why I stuck A&P in there. If a course isn’t explicitly required, then I’m trying to find something that will help in med school. I know I’m going to get a much better version of anatomy in med school.

My schedule is a rough draft until I sit down with a counselor and also communicate with someone in med school admissions for the various Texas schools. Your advice is well taken, though.

Your second comment is a good one. The simplest answer is personal fulfillment. When I went to PA school, medicine was completely new to me. While I’ve gained tremendous real world experience since then, I’ve always felt that during PA school I was just keeping afloat, especially during the didactic phase and that I would like to go back and give myself a chance to really assimilate the knowledge that I was just cramming until the next test the first time. I made good grades overall, but I’m sure you know well the difference in test taking ability and real knowledge.

I know med school can be just like this if not worse, but I know I’m better prepared to really imprint and not just memorize this time. Additionally, medicine has changed significantly since I went to PA school and I’d love to learn some of the newer techniques, equipment, etc.

I also would like to go back and re-consider other specialties that I was less inclined to pursue the first time (not to mention that PAs are initially trained as gen practice). I can find a way to be happy in any specialty, but there are a few areas less open to PAs that I would like to at least consider. I may end being given few options for residency, and if that’s the case, I’ll be happy with it regardless.

I tried to edit the previous post and it got lost.

I wanted to add that I prefer more autonomy and although that can be minimal for MDs as well, I’ve found that in civilian practice many institutions minimize mid-level autonomy as a policy (often for good reason, but it doesn’t make it more tolerable).


  1. I want to be a more knowledgeable and effective clinician.

  2. I want to consider other specialties.

  3. I want the added autonomy (most of my experience is an independent provider and I feel that’s somewhat minimized in civilian practice)

  4. I’d like to learn about new developments in medical research, clinical medicine, technology, etc. since I went to school.