Oct 30, 2010
Hi all,

I am a prospective MD student who had a bit of bad luck when taking the MCAT a couple months ago. I foolishly decided to take it late and got sick the day of the test, and made the decision to drop it because I didn't think my score was good enough. I cannot retake the test again until next year, in which the score will not be valid except for fall 2012 apps.

Having said all that, I also exhibited an interest in an MPH, and decided to pursue that degree instead to keep myself busy, and build a stronger portfolio towards my prospective entry into MD school. I took the GRE and I'm applying to schools, but I don't know how to phrase my essay to accommodate my great interest in health in general, while keeping myself specific to the idea that an MPH is a stepping stone toward and MD. I don't want to raise questions such as "why don't you pursue the dual degree program" instead of doing them separately. Frankly, I'm doing them separately because I can matriculate into some good programs for Fall 2011.

How should I write my essay to reflect this idea, so that it shows my dedication to medicine and my career goals, without marginalizing the value of the MPH program?

Also, what are my chances for getting into epidemiology programs? Why should I apply to ______ university over another? What are some good epidemiology schools that I have a chance to get into?

Undergrad GPA: 3.76
GRE: 730Q, 610V WS not graded yet
over 150 hours volunteer experience at local hospital
2 years of research experience in a pharmacological lab

I know this a long post, I'm sorry, but I hope some of you can answer some of my questions :)
May 21, 2010
New Brunswick, NJ
Hey, I'm sort of in the same position as you. I too eventually want to go to med school but because of orgo and some health related situations, it's not really possible for me to go now, so I want to build a stronger portfolio before applying to med school. A lot of people are in the position, you're not alone.

That being said, I wrote my personal statement describing my interest in giving care to people as well as in the preventative side of healthcare. I would leave out explicitly saying something along the lines of "getting an MPH is only a stepping stone to an MD" type of thing, but definitely work it in about how you want to give patient care as well. That's what I did, and I think my personal statement worked out very nicely. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more in detail.


Membership Revoked
Apr 9, 2010
Medical Student
150 hours sounds like a lot until you're working that much every 2 weeks:(
Not to diminish your accomplishments, just saying, med school ain't all it's cracked up to be:(


10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
Other Health Professions Student
I would leave out explicitly saying something along the lines of "getting an MPH is only a stepping stone to an MD"
Absolutely, couldn't agree more. Your SOP for MPH should be about your commitment to public health, not using the degree as a stepping stone. I doubt adcoms would look favorably upon that: there are plenty of other applicants that truly want to work in public health. From my experience, the most important aspect of an MPH application/SOP is demonstrating a strong interest in the field.

The question is: ARE you interested in public health? If not, I'm not sure that the time committment and expense of the program are worth the marginal improvement (so I've been told) in improving your med school application.

Whatever path you decide, good luck to you!
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