Completing MPH, considering MD

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ktw387

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Hey guys.
Quick background: I am a huge, huge advocate of preventative and community medicine, especially in improving health outcomes in underserved populations both in the US and in developing countries. I am finishing my Global Health MPH degree with a focus on infectious disease (worked really hard, finishing in 11 months rather than the standard 16 or 19 months). While I believe that the MPH is a valuable degree, I believe an MD (as opposed to a PhD or DrPH) would be the best route to take, and I want to go into pathology. My extensive knowledge of public health gives me a unique perspective into the field and how medical care and research is best applied in a broader sense. An MD would give me the credentials to treat and diagnose, and what really draws me is the ability to do clinical research with patients.

Credentials:
Requirements
Undergrad GPA, large respected public research university: 3.4/3.2 science
-still need to take Orgo II and lab, Physics II and lab (potentially boosting science GPA to 3.3-3.4)
-still need to take the MCAT, though did well enough on the GRE to get accepted everywhere I applied for grad school + scholarships)
Graduate GPA, top 20 nationally ranked university: 3.4
-1 publication
-thesis in a developing country in Africa about clinical access for patients and opthalmologic care
-EXCELLENT letters of recommendation
-I'm great at interviews (assuming I get that far)

I know my GPA isn't great. However, my ambition far exceeds my academic talent. Bear with me.

Extra curriculars:
-Set up a highly successful obstetric fistula public health campaign in Tanzania, raised community awareness to reduce stigma and fundraising for free surgeries of patients by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, clinical experience volunteering in the rural hospitals
-Did a research project with an international organization in Ghana, my report was distributed across four continents to improve health outcomes of patients utilizing mobile clinics in various locations; I conducted my research while doing the screening examinations in the clinic before the patients saw the doctor
-Worked with American Red Cross as regional coordinator of biological specimen and organ transfers for donations
-Did a massive research project with Boston Public Schools Health and Wellness Department gathering student data, doing analyses and providing direct feedback back to students how to improve their fitness levels and educating them on obesity and health issues; now an annual report can be generated by physical education teachers that they can give to students after the fitness tests so they can track their improvements and maintain their health
-Lots of school related things like Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, World Health Day, local volunteering, etc. etc.

I would be applying for admission for Fall 2013 so I have plenty of time to study for the MCAT and take the two remaining courses. I hope to get a job doing some kind of public health work in the meantime. Please be honest: do I have a chance at getting accepted into medical school, assuming I do average on the MCAT and do well in the two remaining courses? I'm looking for any advice and suggestions on how to improve my application or if there is anything specific you recommend me doing between now and when I submit my application. Thank you!
 
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Whatyousay

A few loose screws
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Like you mentioned, it's your numbers that are going to hold you back. Your ECs look outstanding.

From a purely objective standpoint, applicants with your stats (assuming a 30-32 on the MCAT) had a ~39% chance of receiving an acceptance into med schools from 2008-2010 (https://www.aamc.org/download/157450/data/table24-mcatgpagridall2008-10.pdf.pdf).

Given your resume, I think you might have a decent shot at an MD program if you apply intelligently (i.e. not Harvard, Yale, JHU), broadly, and early on in the cycle.

The biggest boon to your app would be making A's in your remaining pre-reqs, and doing very well on the MCAT. Easy to say, not always simple to execute. I would check out the MCAT subforum for tips on study schedules / exam materials.
 
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Hey guys.
Quick background: I am a huge, huge advocate of preventative and community medicine, especially in improving health outcomes in underserved populations both in the US and in developing countries. I am finishing my Global Health MPH degree with a focus on infectious disease (worked really hard, finishing in 11 months rather than the standard 16 or 19 months). While I believe that the MPH is a valuable degree, I believe an MD (as opposed to a PhD or DrPH) would be the best route to take, and I want to go into pathology. My extensive knowledge of public health gives me a unique perspective into the field and how medical care and research is best applied in a broader sense. An MD would give me the credentials to treat and diagnose, and what really draws me is the ability to do clinical research with patients.

Credentials:
Requirements
Undergrad GPA, large respected public research university: 3.4/3.2 science
-still need to take Orgo II and lab, Physics II and lab (potentially boosting science GPA to 3.3-3.4)
-still need to take the MCAT, though did well enough on the GRE to get accepted everywhere I applied for grad school + scholarships)
Graduate GPA, top 20 nationally ranked university: 3.4
-1 publication
-thesis in a developing country in Africa about clinical access for patients and opthalmologic care
-EXCELLENT letters of recommendation
-I'm great at interviews (assuming I get that far)

I know my GPA isn't great. However, my ambition far exceeds my academic talent. Bear with me.

Extra curriculars:
-Set up a highly successful obstetric fistula public health campaign in Tanzania, raised community awareness to reduce stigma and fundraising for free surgeries of patients by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, clinical experience volunteering in the rural hospitals
-Did a research project with an international organization in Ghana, my report was distributed across four continents to improve health outcomes of patients utilizing mobile clinics in various locations; I conducted my research while doing the screening examinations in the clinic before the patients saw the doctor
-Worked with American Red Cross as regional coordinator of biological specimen and organ transfers for donations
-Did a massive research project with Boston Public Schools Health and Wellness Department gathering student data, doing analyses and providing direct feedback back to students how to improve their fitness levels and educating them on obesity and health issues; now an annual report can be generated by physical education teachers that they can give to students after the fitness tests so they can track their improvements and maintain their health
-Lots of school related things like Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, World Health Day, local volunteering, etc. etc.

I would be applying for admission for Fall 2013 so I have plenty of time to study for the MCAT and take the two remaining courses. I hope to get a job doing some kind of public health work in the meantime. Please be honest: do I have a chance at getting accepted into medical school, assuming I do average on the MCAT and do well in the two remaining courses? I'm looking for any advice and suggestions on how to improve my application or if there is anything specific you recommend me doing between now and when I submit my application. Thank you!
The average entering DO student has a 3.47 cGPA/3.36 sGPA/MCAT 26.49. With an MCAT score in that range, assuming you do well on the remaining prerequisites and have the usual and customary ECs besides your research, I doubt you'll have difficulty getting an acceptance.

With a stong MCAT score and recent upward grade trend, even MD is possible.

US clinical experience, US-based physician shadowing, nonmedical community service leadership, teaching, hobbies, artistic endeavors, besides research and pubs are all helpful to strengthen one's application.
 

ktw387

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Thank you guys for the advice!

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that I could go into clinical research in pathology with a DO, as osteopathic medicine seems to be geared less towards research. What a shame too, because I believe that a holistic approach to medicine would be an asset in studying/treating/curing disease.

Ironic how that German guy was cured of HIV with the bone marrow stem cell transplant. Now isn't that taking a holistic approach to treatment?
 
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