Intro | NYC Social Worker and Military Veteran

Good Evening OPM Members and Dr. Ryan Gray:

First and foremost - I appreciate that a forum like this exists and is highly activate for non trads. Been perusing the OPM podcast, and after those will move onto the MSHQ Pred Med Years podcasts. My college career was late but better than never. Worked three different jobs post-military honorable discharge (2010, US Navy, E-5, Non-commissioned officer, parachute rigger) before going back to school at 29 y/o for an undergraduate degree thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Stayed highly active during undergraduate school (volunteered 15-20 hours a week), taking 6 courses for Fall and Spring semesters, with only 4 or 5 courses during the Summer semester, ran a student veteran organization, performed vocational peer counseling, assisted in the establishment of student veteran center (came back for the grand opening while in graduate school), established a chapter of the national veterans honor society on campus, and graduated with a 3.87 GPA. Graduate of social work school (masters) in 2016 with a 3.82 GPA. Now, the epiphany has hit me once again (not the pre-med/MD), but the one that redirected my reality and perception towards the intended outcome. The last time this happened, I joined the military after 9/11, attended US Army Airborne and Jump school after serving 4 years on a Naval vessel (Aircraft Carrier).

Fast forward to now - 35 y/o working as a social worker in patient care management with the interdisciplinary team in a hospital setting, with about a year of experience in a hospital setting providing direct patient care (psychotherapy, psychoeducation). Adjunct at my undergraduate school in the social science department. Truthfully, I do have natural doubts that being accepted into med school will be a barrier due to my age after completing pre-med post bacc program. My plan is to attend pre-med/pre-health post bacc at Hunter College (CUNY) in NYC next academic year due to location, overall tuition costs, and student support from their program.

Any other health care professionals in NYC attending pre-med studies who can provide pointers? Also, any social workers who have attended pre-med and med school? Would love to talk with someone who has experience with attending a pre-med post bacc or bachelor’s program in NYC.

-Chuck Taylor, LMSW

Don’t share your background, but your age won’t be a barrier. If you post the similar GPAs in the post-bacc program, I suspect you have very little to worry about. Great background.

Thank you for your service!


Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane seems like it should be an intellectual disqualification. But, hey… it didn’t stop me. =) [Benning, 2007]

Love your story. I got out of the Active Army at 29. I already had a non-science bachelors with an unimpressive GPA, so I did post-bac work and an MPH and sold the “second act” story. It still took me two application cycles to get in though. Now I’m 36 and finishing up MSII at my state’s MD program.

You’re credentials seem strong- just make sure your science GPA and MCAT are within the standard dev of the schools you’re looking at. And apply wide- AMCAS/ACOMAS are like fishing with a hand grenade.

Good luck!

As a guy who threw “you people” out of my perfectly good airplane, I totally concur with the questionable intellect…

All kidding aside, don’t discount some of the traits that you may assume to be universal that you may have gleaned from your time in the military. Self-sacrifice, leadership/responsibility, discipline, etc are pretty good takeaways that may help separate you from other applicants. Several of my interviewers said they really like former military applicants due to some of the personality traits that are instilled from their prior career.

And if you’re thinking about using the Health Professions Scholarship Program to pay for school, you’d have a pretty good shot at getting an age waiver (guy in my class started school at age 41 on HPSP).