Starting now! A long road ahead.

Having just spent my first year out of the US Marine Corps, as a civilian I’ve gone through a huge change. I’ve spent the last 9 years as a military firefighter, and having since gotten out I was unsure what my next step would be.

I needed abit of financial aid having gone from decent pay, to well… none. I spent a few months bouncing around doing small jobs while awaiting to get into a semester at a local community college. One of the only reasons I decided to actually go to school was for 1)it was free 2)from my GI Bill i get about $1100 a month to do so.

My youth, the years spent in school were aweful. I hated school, everything about it I just did not enjoy. I spent alot of time in trouble, or just barely passing. I think one of the only things that got me through Highschool was sports, no pass no play.

I took my first semester half heartedly, I ended up passing with 3.0 at a local CC. I hadn’t done much academically in about 9 years! I was pretty excited with my grades (knowing my history with school in general this was great), and since then have had a strange urge to prove my self in school. This last semester before summer I decided to take an EMS course deciding to fall back on joining the local fire dept.

During my rotations for the EMS course at the ER, watching and learning I had the sudden urge to look into a career in medicine. Watching the ER doctors work on trauma patients was amazing. I have a high respect for EMS and Nurse personnel but I want to be limited by my knowledge of medicine, not my scope of practice. My mother is a nurse, and since expressing the idea of pursueing a career in medicine has done nothing but try to frighten me away from it! I ended up making an A in my EMS course having a newfound sense of excitement in the field. Since I left the military I had little excitement going on, or nothing to look forward to until playing with the idea and then onward to actually enrolling at TTU.

(I know that was long winded!) As of now, I’ve enrolled at Texas Tech University and been accepted, and decided to take my first steps in the right direction. I’ve spent months thinking about this and it feels good to make a move, versus just thinking about it. I know the road will be long, and filled with trials - but at 27 years old, having lived a life traveling and experiencing the military, and a new sense of excitement for academics I am ready to test the water. Give it my all!

Step one, school! I plan on keeping an updated chronical of it all from the very beginning. Wish me luck, any advice is welcome! I see this as a giant challenge, to satisfy my unquenchable thirst to find my role in the big picture!

Hi Jumps,

Like you, I have had a long journey before finally realizing that medicine is what I really want. Before, I dared not admit it to myself or to others since it was like shooting for the moon. But that was then. Now, I am more inspired by stories I have read here at oldpremeds. Having the courage of conviction, I have finally found my voice.Goodluck at TTU. One day at a time, one step at a time. It can be a long road but I believe it’s worth the wait.

  • Jumps Said:

Step one, school! I plan on keeping an updated chronical of it all from the very beginning. Wish me luck, any advice is welcome! I see this as a giant challenge, to satisfy my unquenchable thirst to find my role in the big picture!

That is exactly the way to do it. One step at a time. Thirst is good, but don't drink more than you can handle. So take it easy, get good grades, and everything will fold in place.

Welcome to you among us. Keep us posted. Best of luck.

I’m trying to think… what science course should I take first? I haven’t had a science course in 9 years. I plan to make full use of a tutor… but Anyone got any advice how to approach science classes? I mean, it’s make or break - I cant go getting C’s.

Welcome aboard the crazy train.

Start with a general bio course and keep it moving from there. Use Khan Academy videos, StandardDeviants, or the websites for the textbook used in your class to help you along. There are plenty of resources. Focus on the target in front of you and don’t concern about the others at this point. In a couple years you’ll be applying to med school, within a decade you’ll be a practicing physician.

I enjoyed summer, but I am ready for school to start. I always feel like I am going no where when I am not in class.

I’ve read a few intro to chem books out of being totally bored. Just going to work, and enjoying my friends. I do like to stop and smell the roses, but I am ready for the experience to begin.

I want to enjoy this process, not shoot straight to getting into Medical school - but enjoying the experience of getting there. I know getting into medical school is a long shot at this point, but I need to be doing something, life in the military kept me busy - this civilian life, with all this downtime kills me! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it…but it’s time to get back to work! So excited for August. July 28 (my bday) is my orientation day - I get to be a college kid! lol… I feel like Billy Maddison, i’ll be in freshman courses at 28.

  • Jumps Said:
I've read a few intro to chem books out of being totally bored.

So you wanted to be MORE bored!?

  • Jumps Said:
I want to enjoy this process, not shoot straight to getting into Medical school - but enjoying the experience of getting there

Definitely have to enjoy the process!

While I agree that it’s a good idea to ease back into campus life and the science courses, be aware that many schools want to see that you can handle a rigorous courseload. If you’re working/ volunteering while taking classes, that shows an ability to manage multiple responsibilities. But especially being out of school for many years, we non-trads also have to prove that we can handle a heavy courseload.

Anyone else agree or disagree?

Best of luck to you! You picked a great place to come for support, encouragement and feedback!

Hi Jump, I strongly believe that you’re progressing in the right direction with a lot of enthusiasm. If you have a burning desire for success, you will achieve your goal. Of course, you must be healthy to face a very demanding program, if you are accepted to a medical school.

I have spent 5 1/2 years in Iraq and 1 1/2 years in Afghanistan. The activities in the military bases have kept me strong and persistence. Working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week as an engineer to support the safety of soldiers, I never feel tired. My dream of becoming a physician has getting clearer in my mind everyday when I wake and run 4 miles.

I look forward to starting the path of studying medicine next Summer when I celebrate my 66th birthday. I have a BS degree in Electrical Engineering with 2.9 GPA. I never think age is a problem (with me) because I feel like in the 20-30’s while working or running with the soldiers. But I don’t know where I should start, and how to connect to the pre-med studying. I will retire in Boston, MA. I would appreciate any advise.

Jump, you are my sunshine!

What I did was scan the internet and a lot of youtube videos.

I then decided to speak to an actual premedical adviser at my local university. I say as soon as possible connect with a premedical adviser same as I did.

I am sure there are people here with some good advice as well, how ever I don’t think your question will be viewed here as much as if you started your own thread asking for help =)

Best of luck!

Hm, I see alot of you have science or engineering back grounds. I understand this path takes quite abit of intelligence - but its abit disheartening. My background is firefighting. Im hoping my sheer will to study and dedication will help level the playing field. I also hope that as I work on my academics I will gain wisdom, but also cultivate some intelligence.

Random thought.

Thank you Jumps for your suggestion. I will try that.

Concerning the playing field, background in Engineering and Science probably helps me to overcome the fear of studying medicine, but that’s about all. My engineering background was 37 years old, and rusted.

Your determination would make the difference.

Good luck, Bro!

my flight surgeon was a grunt before he went to medical school. He used his GI bill and went to USUHS, he’s a good guy. I did 11 years Air Force, I know what you mean being used to monthly salary and then nothing, waiting for the GI Bill to kick in. You also qualify for unemployment until school starts (if you haven’t started yet).

My advice, stay focused, don’t get caught up in binge drinking with the veterans (hard to avoid), movies, or online games, it’ll destroy what you’re striving for. Stay motivated. Get shadowing experience and volunteer in a local hospital regularly until get a med school acceptance. Finding a doc to shadow is daunting, but don’t give up. I’ve found that in my area, Shriner hospitals and private practice docs are more helpful with this. A lot of larger hospitals have policy’s against this, for example, in my area, a company that has a chain of hospitals across several states has a policy such as this.

Good luck fellow veteran and enjoy the civilian life, it gets less stressful eventually. I’ve been out for a year and a half now.