What now...

So in actual years I am not that old (26) but I do feel older than dirt and twice as dusty sometimes. I joined the ARMY when I was 17 fresh out of high school. All I could think about at the time was runnin’ and gunnin’. I did a good bit of that in the GWOT . I got my first taste of medicine in the ARMY as well when I was put into a TCCC (tactical casualty combat care) program taught by my units PA. He was a former Delta Operator Sniper turned PA after Somalia. Taking those experiences I went on to war and used the skills I learned to good use on the battle field. Got hurt in the war and I got out of the ARMY and went to EMT school so I can actually have something legal under my belt. Not too long afterwards I felt myself dying to hold a gun again! SO…I became a cop! I love the job. Helping those in need and actually solving peoples problems is fantastic (when there is a actually a problem to solve, other than he stole my crack rock…) But now I am an EMT-I and a SWAT Medic and was a SWAT Sniper. (* I made the choice to come to the dark side*) I have been there done that and I sometimes feel like it is going to set me back a bit because I am going to school with a whole bunch of not been there’s have never done anythings! I just got into school and I am terrified by all means to start and excited like a child on christmas eve as well.

I havent even made up my mind for a major…you see I took a placement test for math and got in for math-111…WOW! I was taken back about how much i didnt remember.

So here I am, BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, or Excercise Science/Scientific Foundation (University of South Carolina)

What am I supposed to do!?

My close friend (and fellow cop) told me recently: Man your a Korean/American, spanish speaking, US ARMY Airborne Ranger, Sniper, Alligator Wrestler (long story…) Medic, SWAT operator from Hollywood, California in South Carolina 26 year old freshman, PRE-MED student? WTF?

That is the sum of all my fears!

what now…

Wow!!! All of that and you’re only 26??!! THAT is pretty impressive!

The only things I can tell you is to take a deep breath and to take it one step at a time! It really doesn’t matter what major you are, as long as you take the pre-reqs that the med schools require. These days, med schools look at candidates with diverse backgrounds, from all fields of study. With your background, I would think that you are way ahead of the pack anyway, as far as medical experience is concerned. Major in something that you think you would enjoy learning about. If majoring in Exercise Science is more interesting to you than Bio or Chem, then go for it! AND, if you’re interested in what you’re learning, it’s very likely that your GPA will positively reflect that.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!!

Thanks for the nice words. (told you I feel old) Funny thing is I have absolutely no worries in the world if there is a a guy with a gun or someone is calling for help…Now that I am about to face homework I am starting to have nightmares!

Do you (or anyone else out there) know of anyone that has gotten let say a liberal arts degree and got the pre req sciences out of the way in 4 years as well? One thing I have going for me is that the ARMY/Fed Gov is paying for my undergrad…problem is its only for 4 calendar years.



One of my residency classmates has his undergrad in linguistics as well as did his medicine pre-reqs, all in the 4-year time frame. Lots of my med school classmates has non-science majors and they also finished in four years. It’s not as uncommon as your think.


It is perfectly normal to feel a bit unsettled when you are pushing your envelope to places beyond your comfort zone. I can tell you that med schools really cherish diverse backgrounds, tend to love ex-military cats and being a cop will prbably not hurt you either. A very good friend of mine and residency classmate (anesthesiology) was a reg ole cop in Springfield, IL for several years and then spent 10 years as a DEA agent. He is now one hell of an anesthesiologist and a total blast to hand out with.

Take your time! This is supposed to be fun, but if you do not take the time to savor the experiences, you will have missed out on the best parts.

I was doing some more research and I am noticing a common theme of volunteer work. I understand that it is very case specific and school dependent; but DOES IT HAVE TO BE volunteer? Do you think working in a hospital as a PCT or even as an EMT would work out?

I think that med schools are aware that there are many “volunteers” who are only doing it to follow the so-called recipe for applying.

But jBane3, you’ve already done your volunteering in the highest way possible by (serving your country)!

I would think another big reason for the volunteering request is the fact that the traditional student really doesn’t have the life experience that us old foggies have. Volunteering allows them to realize that the world is not revolving just around them.

My apologies to those who’ve heard this (several times) before…

Your application needs to show:

1, academic competence - grades, MCAT and letters of recommendation will speak to this

2, dedication to service - lots of folks will put “I want to help others,” or some variation of that, on their applications. What have you actually DONE that, in essence, puts your money where your mouth is? Volunteer service is one way to show this. Military service is another. Employment in another job in health care might or might not be considered in this category

3, awareness of what comprises the field of medicine. You could develop this awareness through shadowing, through previous work experience, and/or through volunteering. You should be able to demonstrate what you are getting yourself into.

There is no one right answer to the “volunteering” question - certainly one way to “kill two birds with one stone,” if you don’t have other relevant experience, is to do some sort of medical volunteering that gives you exposure to docs and what they do. Most important is to do what you enjoy, what resonates for you.


Thank you so much Krisss17 and Mary Renard. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s advice and prompt answers to my questions. As I go along my long hard road it is nice to know that I have a wealth of support to go along with me (and from strangers none the less) it makes it feel all worth while knowing that the job I do today (Law Enforcement) and the job I have held in the past (ARMY) have not gone un-noticed. And when I have stepped in front of harms way for strangers here in my community and overseas; That it is not in vain and there are good people out there that will step in for me when I am in need of a little help…it seems like reciprocation (gods way that is…)

The struggles that I am facing now are obvious to everyone but me…maybe because I am such a nervous wreck about all this. As I research and find out who wants what and for what it is often times overlooked by me that they are writing the information down for the masses (the "traditional kids) not us “old foggies”.

Thank you to all of you that have offered your help and im sure will continue to help me along the way. It is nice to know that my physical wounds did actually count for something!

Have a good night Yall…