jintonic5

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so i was talking to my boss today. he's an md/phd who does pretty extensive research in the boston/providence area, and i trust his advice when it comes to career stuff. i was talking to him about how i was considering SMP's, MPH's, and traditional masters programs in Biology. he LOVED the idea of MPH, but HATED the idea of SMP. From what he told me, it's considered a "bullsh*t" degree in the medical field. it might get you into medical school, but an MPH can help in the same way, plus it's something that you can use later in your career.

while i value his advice, i don't think smp's are a complete waste if it can help me get into medical school.

so MPH's v. SMP's... what's your opinion/what have you heard? i know this has been covered in previous threads, but whatever you can offer will be appreciated.

thanks!

jintonic5
 

DarkWingDuck

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I seriously doubt that an MPH (by itself) is really that useful in landing a job. It seems like every school these days offers that degree and a lot of the time for free, or a reduced rate, if you are earning a professional degree. A couple of years back I read an article which explained that so many business students were continuing on in school and getting MBA's that the degree wasn't worth as much as it used to be. In my opinion that same saturation has, is, or will be affecting the worth of an MPH. If you ultimately want to become a doctor you should do whatever you determine will give you the best chance of getting in. It's funny, you could get in with an MBA and minimal prereq.'s. Then once you're in you could get that MPH, and probably for free.
 

nico05

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I think he was referring to the pure marketability of the degree after the student earns a professional degree. Once you are out of medical school and SMP will mean nothing. At least with and MPH you have somewhat of a "specialty" or focus rather, that is relevant to the real world.

My opinion may be biased; I am actually switching to an MPH program rather than going forth in an MS program...the reason, if I don't get in, I can have something to fall back on, after all, I have no desire to become a medical scientist if I don't get into medical school and an MS is leading down that route. I do however, have an interest in the field of health care - policy, administration, ethics etc. I feel it's important to be well aware of all aspects of healthcare regardless of MD, DO, DDS, RN etc. Best of luck :thumbup:
 

Touchdown

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^Thats not exactly true, a SMP is another pretty piece of paper to hang in your office and impress your patients with (ex. wow this guy is a doctor and has a masters).
 

Crake

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Look at it this way. Say you go to GT SMP or BU SMP. You are taking first year medical school classes with medstudents. You do well. Yes, that impresses the admissions committee--you've demonstrated that you can handle the workload and do well as a med student, they accept you. The following year, you take all of the same classes over again.

The thing is that every MD has taken the requisite courses for an SMP, only some have a two pieces of paper (masters+MD) to show for it and everyone else has just one (MD). I guess it's sort of like if you graduate with a BA--is an employer going to be impressed by someone who has both a BA and an associates degree? No, of course not. That's the thing with an SMP.

Of course, that isn't to say an SMP won't give you an edge in getting in (plus, it may help you do better once you're there=matching in a more comptetitive residency). However, an MPH teaches you skills you're unlikely to learn in medical school, skills that will be valuable to employers after you graduate.

So in the end, if you have a good GPA get an MPH; if you have to remediate a poor GPA, get an SMP or and MS.

My $0.02
 

sendwich

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i think the whole "value" of an SMP vs MPH (vs whatever) depends on your background. if your gpa sucks like mine (which dramatically cuts your chances for medschool), an smp is the way to go and would be more "valuable" for you than an mph. adcoms would rather see you doing well in an smp than an mph (where grades tend to be way inflated). yes, smp isn't very valued highly w/ regards to marketability. but if you're willing to shell out the extra bucks for a 2nd chance, it's not too bad.
 

HooahDOc

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Exactly how "bad" of a GPA is bad when deciding between MPH and SMP?

With a 3.2/3.3, should I focus on MPH if I decide to go that route?
 

sidewalkman

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Hold on; whatever happened to actually liking the material you'll learn in a program? That's what I don't understand about this graduate degree question. It's not like prereqs, where if you don't like physics, too bad; you have to take it. A grad program further refines your professional interests. If you do what you like, get good grades, and can communicate somewhat effectively, the med school admission will come no matter which path you take.

That said, the SMP is the easiest to sell IMO. It's the most explicit way of proving you're ready for the rigors of med school, plus you can refine your academic interests through elective/thesis/other research if you so choose. That's how I'd sell the SMP if someone called it BS.

Also, Crake's point about ease of med school schedule is a good one.
 

Crake

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3.2/3.3 I would do an SMP (unless that GPA is in engineering from MIT, Cornell, Hopkins, Cal Tech, etc.) If it's in bio, you'll probably need to do an SMP or MS--I don't think an MPH is a good option unless you're in the 3.5 cume/3.4 BCMP range.
 

madonna

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Crake said:
3.2/3.3 I would do an SMP (unless that GPA is in engineering from MIT, Cornell, Hopkins, Cal Tech, etc.) If it's in bio, you'll probably need to do an SMP or MS--I don't think an MPH is a good option unless you're in the 3.5 cume/3.4 BCMP range.
so what do you think i should do with a 3.5/3.5 in bio, smp or mph? i want to be done in 1 year so i can re-apply for 2007.