Veteran with a dream

Hey everyone, I have quite a long story so I will try to keep it short. I am currently an active duty Army medic, and have found a passion for medicine while in the service. I had an extremely low GPA before joining the military, leaving school with a 1.13 GPA. During my time in the Army I have taken multiple classes and now have a 3.00 cumulative GPA. I will be transitioning from the military this spring and enrolling at a university in the fall of 2022. I will have 2 years of school left, so ideally I would like to take the MCAT in Spring of 2023 so I can start medical school right after my undergraduate degree. I have been looking at my course load, and will be taking Organic Chemistry 2, Physics 2, Calculus 2, and Biochemistry in the spring of 2023. I am hoping to take the MCAT towards the latter part of the semester in April or May, so I can learn as much as possible in those courses. My question is whether this would be wise and if it would be doable with that course load and studying for the MCAT at the same time? Should I stick to the plan or bite the bullet and delay my application by a year to ensure I am fully prepared for the MCAT?

Hi there!

Thank you for your service.

Just one question: is calc 2 part of your major courseload? Cuz that one’s not required for med school.

I’ve been fortunate enough to serve in the Air Guard for the past 6 years. Because of on and off TDY’s and deployments, I ended up cramming all my pre-med classes into my last year of school during dwell time.

Fall semester: O-chem 1, Physics 1 + labs and senior major classes
Spring semester: O-chem 2, Physics 2, Biochem + labs and Honors Capstone/Thesis

I was fortunate to be just DSG during that year and was able to focus on my studies. I studied for the MCAT throughout that year. I felt that it was enough time to prepare adequately, but the spring semester did get quite crazy for awhile there (esp. during mid-terms and finals). HOWEVER, a lot of the material I was doing in those classes is directly related to MCAT content, and I feel that it was helpful. Some kids in my study group were a year out from those classes and had to do more refreshing than I did, being involved in the content daily as I was at the time.

If you’re able to really focus yourself and dedicate yourself to the content, it’s totally doable. If you prefer time to breathe, it’s not a bad idea to wait/take it at a more comfortable pace. As much as it can feel like it sometimes, this journey isn’t a race! AAMC recommends like 300-ish hours of study for the MCAT to do really well, and a lot of the content you’ll learn in those classes will be really helpful on the MCAT.

Best of luck to you!!