Introduction... LONG :)

Been lurking around these fantastic forums for around a year or so… Finally decided today to take the initiative and register as an actual user.

Where to start?

34 y/o Male married 7 years with 2 children ages 3 and 15.

I have been a practicing EMS professional for 13 years serving a little over 10 of the 13 full-time as a Paramedic in rural Southern Illinois. I absolutely love my job and love helping people. Unfortunately, loving what you do doesn’t always provide for yourself and your family. In addition, this is not a job with a solid retirement and I am no spring chicken.

Honestly, I have not exactly taken the easy

(or logical) path in my life. During my teenage years, I went from being a Honors Math/Science student, Scholar bowl, math team, ect. to High School dropout. I was a young punk who thought I knew everything. Had a bad experience with a teacher and walked away from

my education. My bad.

After a bit of a bumpy ride on my own, I returned home to mom and dad and took my GED test, passed it easily and began taking classes in law enforcement at a local CC.

EMS was a logical side step from AJ classes and seemed to be a great way to get some street experience. After enrolling in my EMT-B class, I had a “friend” who told me that I would never make it in EMS. Well that made me a bit angry and strengthened my resolve. A few months later I was on the streets as a Basic.

2 years later I enrolled in my Paramedic class and mowed right through it.

Since then I have worked on both a truck as well as inside the ER for a couple of years as a CCT. Working in the ER showed me a entirely new side of Emergency Medicine and I fell in love even more.

Over the last 13 years I’ve been very lucky to get to see and do a lot of pretty cool and amazing things.

That being said, I am growing increasingly bored and ready for a new challenge.

Dabbled a bit in the educational side of EMS, currently teach CPR/ACLS/ITLS and also have taught EMT-B classes in the past, all at the local CC. This has provided me with the amazing opportunity to attend that CC on full tuition waiver. (TY Leslie)

Spring of this year I decided it was time to get the ball rolling. Sent my FAFSA in, lined financial aid out, and signed up for classes.

Currently I am taking English, Inorganic Chemistry, College Algebra, and Psychology. Carrying 14 hours while working FT on the Ambulance. This course load so far(2wks in) does not seem incredibly difficult to manage. I may up the load a bit in the Spring depending on how this semester progresses.

Current plan is AS pre-med transfer degree as well as finishing my AAS Paramedic Degree both in 2 years. Most of the Core/electives for the AS degree complete my AAS degree. Rather convenient…

Then I plan on moving on to either University of Illinois or Southern Illinois University.

Still trying to figure out what to get my undergraduate degree in. I have a good friend who is finishing soon at SIU-C and he chose Microbiology. He is also looking at Medical School but has almost a 4 year head start. On a side note, he was one of my EMT-B students

I might be a little bit proud of him.



Welcome out of lurking in the shadows! Your background sounds excellent for med school.

Regarding what to major in, perhaps some of your remaining CC courses will expose you to something that clicks for you to major in.



It seems that you and I have something in common, as I too dropped out of high school to get my GED, although I did it to join the military at 17, instead of just waiting a year…I was impulsive too, I guess…

Fast forward 14 years and I am now 32, also married, with one kid. I am an EMT finishing up my AAS degree as well, for paramedic, and I will transfer next year. EMS is an awesome job to have while going to school because we can study in between calls, to an extent, while at work. I would look for a major that would accept the greatest amount of your credits and allow you to continue your med school pre reqs, or some additional science classes if you complete them all prior to transfer. I am looking at psychology with a minor in chemistry or a bachelor in liberal arts, myself, for next year.

Keep moving forward; you already have a wealth of medical knowledge and clinical experience going for you, just remind yourself how much you want this when things get rough…Good Luck!


I am really leaning towards Chemistry at this point. I had forgotten how much I love chemistry…


Its ironic you mention a liberal arts degree. I was just talking with a doctor in a local ER the other night who went to medical school after having been a liberal arts major.

So far classes are going very well. Its amazing how well one can do when you are completely committed to doing something.


  • pmed8 Said:
Its ironic you mention a liberal arts degree. I was just talking with a doctor in a local ER the other night who went to medical school after having been a liberal arts major.

The other day, my mentor put up a piece of paper in the lab that showed the pictures, names, etc of all the new PhD and MD/PhDs at our school. There are 6 new MD/PhD candidates. One of them has a BA in English.

I am applying to medical school with an undergraduate degree in music, and post-baccalaureate science classes.

So far the semester is going very well. Lowest grade overall is a 96%. Part of me is ready to move on to more difficult classes as there are quite a few classmates of mine who are… Less than serious. Hopefully some will elect not to progress to Inorganic II.

Still leaning towards Chemistry or Biochemistry for my Major.

Met another Dr. whos undergraduate degree is French…

Her advice was to pick something I really like. At this point Chemistry fits that idea well.


Dr. Dave, the founder was a high school dropout.

Turned to truck driving, then decided DO. He went on to become the head of anesthesiology at Dartmouth and is now some nationally renown anesthetist.

Of course, he’d be the last to brag about what’s he done but look where he is now.

As for everything else, someone else on here has done something similar or worse and come to the point where med school was the only thing that made sense for themselves.

I am one of them. I’ve quit, come back, quit again, and come back, and this last time, I was done done done done done… just done, I tell ya.

And I’m back.

Don’t let whatever it is you thought everyone else thought you should do or be or wanted you to do or be, stop you from who you are.

And certainly, unless you are a felonious person, don’t let your past stop you!