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Doing Grad School First

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by MedSchool28, 05.15.14.

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  1. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    Hello all. I was recently admitted into the University of Miami for their MPH program. At Miami, once you are admitted, they give you the choice to do either an MPH or an MSPH. I am wondering which one would be more beneficial for someone who wants to go to medical school. I will be applying to both MD and DO schools and would be equally happy with either Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    Public health programs aren't looked at as very application boosting in the first place. They're just not.

    Do the more science based one, and do more research. Look at the public health forum on here, as well as at the postbaccalaureate forum.
     
    Last edited: 05.15.14
  4. Aria A

    Aria A 2+ Year Member

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    I don't agree with that! There is a huge demand for public health trained physicians in the US which is why medical schools such as the University of Miami are creating MD/MPH programs. I think that an MPH degree would definitely make you more competitive and is also unique in that most ppl do a research masters which by the way you can also do in combination with public health by doing an MSPH.

    As to whether to to choose an MPH vs MSPH is it is completely up to you. Most people choose an MPH because you will learn more practical skills and do a capstone project vs an MSPH which is more research focused and includes a thesis. The MSPH degree is also harder than an MPH but again it's completely up to you
     
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  5. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    You can disagree with it all you want, it doesn't make your sentiment any less irrelevant to MD admissions. The truth of the matter is, MPH is not a very rigorous area of study, medical school is. A heavily science based (think ACTUAL science, not epidemiology) will go a lot farther in MD admissions than would an MPH. Chances are, if someone's application is in need of a 'boost' that can beat be achieved by doing a masters degree, it means their academics are hurting. elsewhere in their application....doing an easy degree like MPH will not sway the minds of an admissions committee at all. While you may be correct in the demand for public health physicians, the operative word there is physicians. So, MD/MPH programs help meet this need, but someone with an MPH alone, who has been successful in their programs may not necessarily have what it takes to succeed or survive medical school...so simply having an MPH doesn't mean you will help meet that need. Again, an MPH will impress no one on an admissions committee if you have any deficiencies in your undergraduate scores or MCAT.
     
  6. AliciaAccepted

    AliciaAccepted Exhibitor 2+ Year Member

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    Congratulations on your acceptance! Ultimately, what matters most is that you have a competitive GPA in your graduate coursework and that you gain more clinical and/or volunteer experience. I recommend that you choose the program that you are most excited about. Either route will better prepare you for medical school, just in different ways, as mentioned above.

    As long as you graduated with an increasing trend in your undergraduate GPA, having a strong graduate GPA will only help your application to medical school.

    For more information about selecting activities that will help you get into medical school, please see this article. I wish you all the best!
     
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  7. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    Disagree away with your bad self. MPH's don't boost people's success at gaining acceptance to medical school significantly enough to make them worth doing SOLELY for getting into medical school. Are they good for learning epidemiological research methods, working with social services, and things like that? Yeah. But, MPH's aren't GPA repair programs.

    If OP wants to do an MPH for non-academic repair reasons and can afford it, go right ahead. I'm doing an old school academic masters in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a thesis that will be published, and it's not a walk in the park. I'm not doing it for academic repair, thinking that it'll help me get into medical school, either. I enjoy the subject, and want to specialize in something that's pharmacologically intensive, such as anesthesiology. I'm trying to take a few classes in public health on the side, too, via the MPH program at my University. The kids I've seen in that MPH program don't look like Rhodes Scholars, and neither did the kids I saw at my previous University where I took epidemiology and public health courses as an undergrad. A lot of them were overweight, brought junk food to class, and some of them even smoked outside of the building. Gimps. Boooo
     
    Last edited: 05.15.14
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  8. orangeman25

    orangeman25 2+ Year Member

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    An MPH definitely won't impress an adcom if you have deficiencies in GPA or MCAT, like you said. However, not everyone who does an MPH has deficiencies. They might not be outstanding (3.5/31 for instance); in that case, if an MPH fits with their goals and ambitions in life, it makes them a more attractive candidate and helps overcome the slight deficiencies they have.
     
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  9. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    I appreciate your comment, but there is no need to bash the MPH degree. Just because it may not be as rigorous as some other masters programs doesn't make it "easy." All programs come with their own set of challenges and not just anyone can get accepted into the program. Thanks for downplaying my accomplishment though. Awesome. Anyway, I never said I wanted to use the MPH/MSPH to substitute for poor grades/MCAT. I want to do it because I have a passion for public health and I want to be a public health physician. Just wanted to know which one might be more relevant in the world of medicine. Simple.
     
  10. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    Lol yeah you are just sooooo much better than us dumb MPH students. I hope you feel great about yourself. The fact is, I could do a "more rigorous" masters program if I wanted to, but my focus and interest is in public health. If you are going to judge me as being fat and stupid because of it then so be it. I can't believe some of you people are future doctors. I just asked a simple question that required an objective response.
     
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  11. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks to all who responded in a constructive way, whether negatively or positively.
     
  12. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    You think that doing an mph will put yourself ahead of someone else. It's an easy masters that attracts slackers sometimes. You wanted the truth, buddy
     
  13. xffan624

    xffan624 2+ Year Member

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    I wouldn'
    Having gotten an MSPH-like degree prior to coming in to medical school, I can definitely say it's a boon. If you already a strong candidate, then either degree will be useful. I think the MSPH is more rigorous and might help give a slight boost or reassurance to ADCOM's that you can handle the material. I can point to one example during an interview where the interviewer noted my strong graduate work compared to undergraduate. My degree had multiple higher level biological science courses in addition to core public health courses.

    Is the MSPH or MPH the best degree to repair a GPA and get you into medical school? No

    Is it a valuable degree that will definitely be a bonus for when you enter medical school? Yes

    I would not take MDforMEE's comments too much to heart, he has an extremely skewed view of medical school admissions that doesn't completely jive with reality as demonstrated by this epic thread..
     
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  14. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    Oh no you didn't just go there... bwahahaha
     
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  15. DK2014

    DK2014

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    Why spend at least 2 years post-graduation getting an MPH while you can do an MPH for 1 year in medschool? Yes, I know the MPH in medschool is condensed, but nevertheless, you learn enough, perhaps at a faster rate, to learn about public health, probably in a more detailed manner too.

    And to OP, yes, MPH programs may be selective, but they are nowhere as selective as you make it seem out to be. Nevertheless, congrats on getting in though.
     
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  16. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    As it turns out, MPH is a comparatively easy degree, to say, MS in Pharmacology, Cell Bio, Biophysics, Physiology, etc. Do you know what you are doing as a medical school applicant? You are competing against thousands of other applicants, as the admissions committee compares you to your competition. That being said, the MPH is largely viewed as an administrative degree, not one that prepares you for the study of medicine. If you want to be a public health physician, you are likely better off just applying to MD/MPH programs. Your attempt to strengthen your credentials for medical school by doing an MPH is very misguided. Noone is bashing the MPH degree, by the way. It is not a very competitive admissions process, however, and it is a relatively easy degree. Do not expect it to make a big splash as far as helping you stand out or strengthening your application for medical school. Truth be told, the person with a MS in Biomedical Sciences will beat out the applicant with a MPH/MSPH, 10 times out of 10.

    Also, as I recall, your question was "I am wondering which one would be more beneficial for someone who wants to go to medical school." The answer is "not an MPH, something else." Sorry if this comes as a paradigm shift for you, but should you continue to delude yourself into thinking doing an MPH will give you clout when applying to medical school, you can't say you weren't warned. Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: 05.15.14
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  17. GingerGirl27

    GingerGirl27 5+ Year Member

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    As someone who is now finishing up her MSPH and starting medical school in the Fall, I would say do it if you're interested in it. While my MSPH gave me a lot of great research experience and time to do some internships that I am sure added to my medical school application, it is not something I would advise to do solely to boost your medical school application. I think it makes you seem like a more well rounded applicant especially if you have other activities that speak to your interest in public health, but it shouldn't be seen as a GPA booster or anything. I loved my program and am glad I spent 2 years doing it before I went to medical school for many reasons. Im interested in continuing doing public health research so it will be useful to me. Others would advise waiting until during or after medical school. That's up to you. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

    As for the MPH vs MSPH question, in my school you can only do the 1 year program if you have medical/public health experience or a prior clinical degree. The main difference seems to be that their capstone project is shorter than ours and they don't get to explore as many areas of public health as we did in one year. We all take. The same basic biostats and epi classes if I remember correctly.
     
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  18. CanadianRN

    CanadianRN

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    Congratulations on your acceptance! Don't listen to some of the negativity in this thread. I am quite surprised at some of the comments in these forums. I realize this is a competitive process, but we are all supposed to be signing up to help people. I can't imagine applicants are behaving this way in a medical interview. Why should it be acceptable here?

    As for your question, I am not an expert on medical school admissions. What I can I say is that the MPH will almost certainly be useful to you when you are applying for residencies and when you are applying for jobs as a staff physician. My wife is a specialist physician as are the majority of our friends. They have all just recently finished their training and they are ALL - and I mean every single one of them - now completing master's degrees in order to get good academic jobs. Your MPH is going to be much more useful for you than an obscure science degree. I know this may seem counter-intuitive to a lot of premeds. However, if you ask academic physicians what master's degrees are the most marketable for MDs, they will likely tell you that an MPH, an MA in Education, or a MSc Epi are the most useful. You probably already know this and that's why you chose to do an MPH. As to your original question, I don't know enough about either program to suggest which these two degree might be more marketable. I would recommend you follow your gut as to what interests you the most. If it interests you, than you will probably excel.

    Although I don't pretend to be an expert on medical school admissions (few people in these forums are), I can't see how the MPH wouldn't help. However, context is critical (as pointed out by GingerGirl27). The answer to that question (a question you never even asked) likely depends on many other factors of someone's application.

    I hope this helps. Enjoy the MPH! I loved my MA (Education).
     
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  19. La Presse

    La Presse Due to the fact.... 2+ Year Member

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    This is false. There have been program administrators and directors of MPH programs that have attested to the close ties they share with the school's MD program.

    The only thing I can say is that the MPH program is not intended to serve as post-bacc work..
     
  20. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

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    MedSchool28, can you give a little more details about how the programs differ and if that relates to any particular goals you might have?

    Do you have any particular things that you think you need to learn (eg really want to learn stats, how to do outcomes research, etc)? If it's about what will be the most useful and important going forward, I would say learning stats, datamining, and technology/EMR stuff, but I'm super biased.

    I have colleagues and friends who did an MPH or epidemiology degrees before med school, after second year, and after school, often during fellowship. I think it all works out different ways, none of them bad. Incidentally, I don't think I know anyone who did an MSPH for whatever reason, but it is just less common.

    If you are looking for something that will make you more competitive, nothing is more important than excelling at something, that is the key thing. It's less important what it is.
     
  21. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    I never said I thought it would put me ahead of anyone else. Wtf are you talking about? For the last time, I am interested in public, which is why I am doing the masters. Try paying attention to what I am writing rather than just bragging about the program that you're doing, as if I am supposed to be impressed or feel inferior to you.
    Sidenote: I respect anyone who is trying to further their education in whatever field that they choose. Anyone who is going to put in the work to complete a masters is usually not a slacker in my book. Well maybe compared to you they are slackers because you are just so perfect. :claps:
    Where is your humility? You seem so stuck up and self righteous, for someone who isn't even in med school.
     
    Last edited: 05.15.14
  22. MedSchool28

    MedSchool28 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with your last statement. Anyway, from what I understand, the MSPH is more research based and there is a thesis at the end instead of a capstone. They also say that the MPH is intended to prepare you to work in public health while the MSPH prepares you more for academic work. I guess my initial question may have been worded wrong. I am not looking for a boost to my med school application. Regardless of what anyone on this board says, I am doing the masters program. I wanted to know which degree is better suited for someone who would like to work as a public health physician upon finishing med school.
     
  23. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    If you're interested in medicine and want an MPH, get one in med school...
     
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  24. CanadianRN

    CanadianRN

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    With this extra information, I would personally choose the MSPH. From your description it seems to be more research focused. The best part of my MA was the thesis. If you want to do research, I think doing a thesis is extremely beneficial. It allows you to complete an entire research project from start to finish under your own steam. The best part is that you get close expert PhD guidance (rare outside of this setting). I had such an amazing time doing my thesis and I have gained skills that will serve me well no matter what future career path I end up on. I also made some amazing connections in academia including professors. For example, my thesis supervisor continues to provide guidance and support on many projects that I am involved with to this day. He has also told me that I am "walking on water" in my letters of recommendation for medical school. This can't hurt anybody's application. =) Basically, I think it's a great all around experience. However, this is personal perspective.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  25. CanadianRN

    CanadianRN

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    If you have any specific questions about choosing a thesis supervisor, I have some important suggestions. Send me a message of you are interested.
     
  26. GingerGirl27

    GingerGirl27 5+ Year Member

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    It would seem the MSPH would be the better option. However it really depends on what you want to do with it. 'Be a public health physician' is such a vague thing. I have professors at my school who have MDs and do mainly policy/programming work and those who do primarily research. Some still do clinical work, others probably haven't set foot in a clinic in years. I think you need to spend some time thinking about specifically how you plan to use the degree. I didn't have a full idea of what I wanted to do before I got into my program and liked that I got 2 years to figure it out and help tailor my second year classes and stuff towards that but that is one downside of doing it before you go to medical school. Are both programs 2 years?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  27. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Keep it civil, please.
     
  28. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    What you just says actually highlights the usefulness of the degree. You can do anything with an MD/MPH.

    Having a bit of stats/epi background is an amazing boon when you do any kind of study. Many doctors I've worked with have a very limited understanding of stats. I'm actually running the stats for many of their studies because I'm more facile with it. It also helps me get on a bunch of papers, so I'm not complaining!
     
  29. bakedbeans18

    bakedbeans18 "Truly misguided, with delusions of grandeur"

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    Yeah....they have to say that to promote their program. It's a recruitment tactic, nothing more than that. My graduate program director said the program boasts a strong tie with our university's medical program. I have a 3.9 graduate GPA, have been involved in research and student activities, very strong and well-rounded medical school application. Accepted to several top-4o programs, yet rejected from our very own MD program. My program director was full of crap - most are, and you can't trust that kind of assertion from them, nor should you trust more than face value whatever 'benefits' you may reap from their program. No I'm not bitter, I'm very happy with where I am going for medical school - I'm just pointing out the facts.
     
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  30. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    Seconded.

    And, I'm not sure why people are so quick to argue and name call around here, but it gets old. I'd usually just leave a thread like this, but, I think that in the interest of this thread, if people are curious to know more about how much an MPH will boost their chances at med school admissions, then they should check out the hundreds of other threads on the postbaccalaureate forum here asking this same question. I've been a regular there for a while, and a lot of other seasoned posters there will tell you the same thing that me and bakedbeans are... MPH's don't boost your chances enough to make them worth the investment of time and money; if you want to do an MPH to be a better doctor, good for you.

    Also, I don't believe in playing the admissions system, and will speak out against people that do, as unpopular as it might be.
     
    Last edited: 05.16.14
  31. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

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    When do you have to commit? Can you start taking classes and see which has the better professors and class options for you. As you know you don't need either to work in public health, but either will probably help, and it will work out better in the one that works to your strengths and which you will enjoy. That often comes down to some differences in required classes, which then often depends much more on particular faculty personality and ability than the course description.

    Maybe read the course reviews for the core classes and talk to current students if you can. Also, I would also skew toward course offerings which teach skills over knowledge. Quantitative stuff is usually a skill for example, a survey of global AIDS policy is a knowledge class. You will get plenty of first hand knowledge on health and medicine, a career in medicine will give you infinite anecdotes, and you can always look facts up. Learning skills gives you tools to do stuff. Unfortunately though, skills courses are often harder.

    I think a thesis is a good thing though. It forces you to get really in depth on a subject, and you can usually find a way to get a version of it published with a little extra work. That's useful, because why write for just yourself and your professor? Contribute to the world knowledge whenever you can.

    Good luck!
     

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