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I'm a casualty of the quarter system

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I've always been interested in emergency medicine. I come from a war torn country, and I've always wanted to help people. I see on the news, all the time, footage of the aftermath of bombs. I've always watched these scenes and felt so helpless. But then I see the first responders, the triage, the people in uniform running into the chaos instead of away from it. That's what I want to do, I want to help people. I did a 4 week med student program at Stanford where we were taught how to take vitals, and we got to spend time in the cadaver lab. I loved it. I also spend my Friday nights watching various surgeries and suture techniques. I love medicine, and I know this is what I want to do.

There's a slight problem. My science GPA sucks. I go to a school on the quarter system, and I work. It's impossible for me to study the amount that I need to in order to do well. I'm not bad at science, I understand it and I'm interested in it, it's just impossible on the quarter system. I'm in Anat and Phys 1 right now, and I just don't have time to memorize all 6 pages of each unit while I'm also working. I'm also a nutrition major, not Bio/Chem/Kines, so it's not like I get the same exposure to the information as those majors who take similar classes all the time. My major covers all the science pre reqs, except for one bio class. But even adding that one bio class will likely not get my science GPA to a 3.0. My over all GPA is a 3.6. That's got to be some sort of indication that I'm a good student, right? I know post-bac is an option, but that's basically me paying $10k to take all the classes I already took. Plus the only program near where I live doesn't even have all the classes I need to retake. 


Should I just give up and be an EMT for the rest of my life? 

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Try tutoring, or explore some other options through your university for helping you pass the class. Talk to your professor(s). I agree that you should have the capacity to pass the class with an A. Doing class and working is difficult, I agree, but likely is your only option, and it is possible... Your interest is clearly there and I think you have something in you that will get you over the hump, so to speak.


Second, I think an EMT class is a great idea for you, when you can swing the time. Class should be first in this moment, but when the option presents itself, find an entry level healthcare career and get your exposure to medicine that you want so bad. It will help you immensely to see actual medicine happening (to combine with the science you learn at school).


Good luck.

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I would be very careful before switching your career path from PA to EMT. Although they both are in medicine and even closer if you're interested in emergency medicine, they are vastly different career paths.  Our role in EMS is incredibly important, yet narrow and limiting.   An EMT class (and a job working in EMS) would be an awesome step for you!  Your GPA doesn't sound that bad, raising just a bit and getting some solid experience should get you in.  I throughly enjoy my job now working as an EMT on an ambulance and it is amazing patient care experience.   Although I'm looking forward to going to PA school, I will miss it.  I wouldn't give up on your goals so soon.  I don't know how old you are, but you will be spending the rest of your career in this job, it would be sad to let a year or two and the cost of some classes stand in the way of what you want to do for the rest of your work life.  However, if your goal is to be "in uniform running into the chaos instead of away from it" you've picked the wrong career.  Maybe a cop or the army would fit that bill better.  In EMS we practice scene safety and before patient care even begins ourselves and by-standers have to be out of harms way.  Furthermore, patient care is a whole lot more than life and death moments.  The "helping people" part  of any medicine is 95% of the time in the mundane, if you're drawing your life satisfaction from the other 5% it will burn you out eventually.  One burnt out medic said it better "I accepted that the lines I was fed in EMT class about snatching people from the grasp of the Grim Reaper and dealing with all emergencies all the time were bullpucky. I accepted that life and death emergency calls were a very, very, small part of my job and relying on them for job satisfaction was setting me up to be permanently dissatisfied and was leading me down a bad road."


I'd suggest reading the full article, it offers a wonderful insight to what I'm trying to explain.  



Feel free to message me if you have any more questions about EMS! 

Best wishes!    

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