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A Whole Slew of Topics

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by ticktock1984, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. ticktock1984

    ticktock1984 New Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Hi everyone,

    I would like to pursue a master's in epidemiology and/or international health. My background information is quite blotchy... I had transferred from ugrad school to ugrad school with also transfer credits from community college and other schools PLUS lots of W's from medical leave withdrawals. I haven't taken the GREs or MCATs yet so can't comment on that end.

    The master's international program in conjunction with Peace Corps service is right up my alley, except that I do not know how competitive it is. I would really appreciate it if someone can comment on acceptance chances with Johns Hopkins and UWash as well as other lesser known schools.

    Also, another option, is to go ABROAD (my DREAM) to either University of Copenhagen (MSc. in International Health) or Utrecht University in Holland (MSc. in epidemiology) or University of Toronto (MSc. in Global Health). I just don't know how to gauge the quality of these programs since they aren't domestic. Has anyone else considered these programs?

    Thirdly, my ultimate goal is to eventually get an MD, but not until I get my hands and feet dirty by working in 3rd world public health arena. :) Would getting a master's at an offshore university work against me or not benefit me as a domestic master's would in the US med school admissions process? Would getting a graduate degree at University of Toronto improve my chances to getting admission into any of the UBER COMPETITIVE Canadian med schools?

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.
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  3. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    ur right about the uber-competitive med schools in canada.

    to comment on the last point, i know some (many) med schools explicitly state they do not consider any grad work, and that your entire admission GPA is based on your undergrad GPA calculated in the particular way that school calculates GPA.

    Toronto medicine DOES add points for those with masters degrees (which makes sense IMO).
  4. jasmine2018

    jasmine2018 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    Though I don't know about the programs abroad that you speak of, I honestly would aim for the master's programs in the U.S. if you can get in. Try to do really well on the GREs and have a very good excuse for your undergrad performance and you should still be fine (my own ugrad GPA was in the toilet but I still got into Hopkins and other good programs thanks to high GRE scores and lots of work/international experience). I also took some post-bac courses to show that I can do well in the Ugrad courses (grades in grad school are very much inflated which is why I imagine med schools won't take them into account). Do you have any international experience or evidence to show why you want to go down the international health path? Do you speak other languages? All that helps a lot! Anyway, good luck! I now work in the international arena so let me know if you have other questions.
  5. Coclean

    Coclean Field Rat 5+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2006
    I am a MI student currently who works internationally in one country and will be going abroad for Peace Corps service next year to another country. MI programs aren't any more competitive than "regular" MPH programs....that said, you don't get any admission breaks because you will be MI. I can't comment on international programs greatly.....but the two that I have heard are excellent are the Karolinska Institut in Stockholm, and of course, LSTMH.

    I'm not sure what questions you have about MI...but all the programs I know that have MI include: Hopkins, BU, Tulane, Emory, Uni of Washington, UAB, I forgetting any? Depending on the school the program differs greatly.

    You didn't say your GPA was bad.....just lots of medicla withdrawals. So perhaps you won't have any problem at all. Just plan to apply to all the programs and check out each campus. Also try to get yourself at a campus wehre you will be able to get an internship/job to profs re your interests and see if they think there are opportunitions (before you matriculate). Sometimes the best opportunities are found in less well known campuses....for example UAB has a ton of new international collaborations...including with the Hopkins based collab I work through (though I also am not at Hopkins, but Emory and represent the CDC arm of the collab).

    And yes, speaking other languages can be essential depending on the continent!!!!
  6. Coclean

    Coclean Field Rat 5+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2006
    P.S. The general consensus I have heard from med school admission folks I have spoken with is that Peace Corps is looked upon highly favorably...and that in fact it is a presige marker for campuses. Only what I have heard, not sure of accuracy. Generally it is though to show commitment and adaptability to hash conditions and all that....and generally no person would sign on for two years of service without really wanting to do it, so it isn't one of the things that persons usually do to boost a sagging application.

    I have also been told that having my MSPH will greatly help my application to Med School later on....but I plan to apply to MD/PhD programs and the MSPH is important for my research goals so it might be a little different. Really, I think just follow your passion and you will present such a differnt face to the Ad Comm that some of your "mistakes" may be less important (especially with a great graduate GPA and good work experience). Be sure to talk to a PC recruiter early about any residual health issues, they are fairly strict and have made me run through a lot of hoops even though I have been an athlete in pretty solid physical shape all my life. It would not been fun to find out that you won't qualify for an assignment on medical grounds late in the game. But there are assignments for folks with medical "needs" so don't worry too much.

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