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Getting a master's degree before med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Stacks101, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. Stacks101


    Feb 14, 2010
    If you get rejected the first or second time around, is it a good idea to pursue a Master's degree? I was thinking of getting my MS before Med School mainly because I love studying Psych and Anthropology. And, it'll strengthen my application. I mean, if I fulfilled all the pre-reqs, It won't hurt to get my MS right? What do you guys think?
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  3. the duck

    the duck 2+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    If you can afford to spend more years without any income and enjoy learning, go for it. But be aware, it will not help much, if at all, for getting into a med school. If that is your goal, your time would be better spent repearing holes in your application.
  4. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    Do you want the blunt truth? Getting a masters degree in psych or anthropology will be a complete waste of time and money in terms of improving your chances for med school admissions. And if you don't get a 4.0 or close to it, it will be the kiss of death for you.

    Just read pysch books in your spare time if it makes you happy.
  5. The Enchanter

    The Enchanter Some call me... Tim?

    Dec 16, 2009
    I pursued a Masters because I wasn't entirely sure whether to go to medical school or just get a PhD. My time in grad school hasn't been wasted because it helped me make that decision. However, if you're already sure you know what you want to do (i.e. go to medical school), then a Masters is much more likely to hurt you than help you. If you are completely sure about medicine, don't do a Masters, but if you are torn between going different directions in life and just can't decide then it might be useful.
  6. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Indirectly a traditional masters could help you by giving opportunities for teaching and research, if you don't already have them. But you can get the same experiences in other ways, without committing to complete a masters.
  7. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    I think my Master's helped because I needed to continue showing strong academic performance. Aside from that I wouldn't say it hurt me at all.
  8. TheDuder


    Jul 13, 2009
    Unless you come from money I think it's financial suicide, but it depends on the length/cost of the programs you're looking at.
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    I don't think getting a masters will help your application too much, at least a psych/anthropology masters. A hard science, mph, or esp smp will make a much bigger difference.
  10. armybound

    armybound future urologist. Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    A lot of programs are funded. I was paid something like $6000/year to get my Master's, and that was without the money I made as a TA
  11. dr zaius

    dr zaius 7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    I chose to pursue a master's because I decided on medicine late in my undergrad career. I still had to take the MCAT and work on some other portions of my application. I also have interest in academic medicine, so doing a research based master's didn't hurt me at all and gave me a great deal to talk about during my interviews. I currently receive a $23k/yr stipend so it wasn't exactly financial suicide.

    Do NOT do a two year master's program if you are going to apply next year. Most schools require you to finish whatever degree you are working on prior to matriculation.
  12. Mike7704

    Mike7704 Undergrad 5+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    what masters programs are you guys in where they paid stipends?
  13. Default

    Default 2+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Any reputable and most non reputable chem/bio masters programs will pay a stipend. Mine pays relatively well and the TA position is only 20 hours a week. oh and they also pay for all of my tuition. As for it being an advantage? Well I will be slightly more prepared for biochem than most, but I did a masters because it was a financially sound way to show a strong upward trend in GPA and be constructive during the down time caused by the eventual two rounds of rejections. As for a productive use of downtime, every one of my interviews this year asked me what I done with my year after graduation and being able to talk about graduate level research helped alot.
  14. Stacks101


    Feb 14, 2010
    You see the thing is I am entirely sure that Medicine is for me. I would go to the Caribbeans if I have to. I'm still a high school senior though so I should still have time to think things through regarding my major. And initially I thought an MA or MS would only help my application, but I guess I neglected the whole financial and time consuming aspect of it.
  15. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 7+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    In my books, GA
    I have a MS degree which I did before I realised I wanted to be a doctor (actually the research I did pushed me in this direction). Whether it helps me or not is anyone's guess although it will give me more publications than other applicants.
  16. dr zaius

    dr zaius 7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    Biomedical engineering typically pays pretty well. If you broke it down into an hourly wage based on the amount of time per week in the lab, though, it's not even minimum wage.
  17. BellJS


    Jan 21, 2010
    my 2 cents:

    in my experience it was a load of fun and I learned a ton. I definitely would do it over again. However, I'm not convinced it was really worth it considering my specific goals. For one, many of the interviews i've been to almost talk down to my choice. At one interview the first question I was asked was "So why the hell did you do things this way, why did you get a master's? Why not just apply out of undergrad?" He was super critical. Needless to say I was honest, I just wasn't ready or sure. My point was that I graduated college when I was 20 and that I just couldn't make a career choice for the rest of my life, yet. I needed to feel things out.

    I'm waitlisted there.

    On the other hand, if you are serious about a particular track in medical school, for example research and you want to apply MSTP, by all means, do the masters degree. I feel in the case of MSTP applicants, performing successfully with a research based MS degree can really make a great case for your continuing down this path.

    Anyway these are my 2 cents. Probably not even worth 2 US cents. Maybe this is worth 2 Canadian pennies.
  18. Stacks101


    Feb 14, 2010
    I feel the same way about not being able to make a career choice at 20. I just want to be prepared for whatever happens in the future, and hope for the best in college. Learning for learning's sake doesn't really apply to the medical path, since I have to take pre-reqs anyways. Eh whatever, thank you guys so much. And sorry for having to put up with an nsecure, paranoid, hs senior. :)
  19. ArkansasRanger

    ArkansasRanger 2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    What if the guy was interested in getting a master's in biology or something like that? What if that degree included coursework mirroring what one would learn in medical school such as pathophysiology, pharmacology, immunology, etc? I'm not specifically referring to a SMP type of thing either.

    Would all of you still speak as negatively of it then?
  20. Racecardoctor


    Nov 29, 2016
    This is an old thread I know but I wanted to post here instead of starting a new thread because I was curious of doing this or a Postbacc certificate in Anthropology while doing my Pre-med perquisites. Reason being is my undergrad Cumulative GPA is a 2.93. Wondering if it is wise to go the post bacc Certificate in Anthro, second BA in it or a Masters.

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