I'm at a Crossroads....Warning: This might be a stupid question...

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by Queenie84, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Queenie84

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a slightly complicated/strange/stupid question. I am currently a medical student in my second year. My grades are fine, and academically(which is all that really matters to med schools) I am pretty solid. I am also working on my MPH. After doing research, and while working on my Master's I realized that I am way more passionate about Public Health, than I ever was about Medicine. And I kind of feel like I'm just going through the motions, and I'm pretty miserable.

    So here's my question: After graduating medical school, is Residency the only option one has? After you graduate, you would have an MD under you belt. But can you possibly combine that with another degree (say MPh) and pursue interest in other areas. That is, avoid Residency all together, but use your MD degree as "booster" to a career in Public Health(In addition to the MPH) as opposed to Medicine?

    Thanks in advance!
    Q84
     
  2. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    Umm... do the Preventive Medicine Residency... That is basically the public health option for doctors...
     
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  3. mercaptovizadeh

    mercaptovizadeh ἀλώπηξ
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    I know a faculty member in family medicine who does mostly research on public health/vaccines. He did a preventative medicine fellowship after his family medicine residency.

    If you really want to make sure you can shift into clinical medicine should your interests/economics dictate (especially given the current economic crisis and your student loans), it might not be a bad idea to do a primary care residency such as internal medicine and then do a preventative medicine fellowship and start your research through that.
     
  4. WellWornLad

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    If you're working on your MPH and MD concurrently, I'm guessing that the cost of the MPH alone at this point is roughly similar to getting both. Bite the bullet and get the MD, you'll have many, many more options and be taken much more seriously in the public health field, even if you don't complete a residency.

    Besides, you may feel like you're "going through the motions" right now, but 3rd and 4th years are nothing like 1st and 2nd. Many people before you have hated 1/2 outright and gone on to love 3/4.
     
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  5. meister

    meister Senior Member
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    I would say wait until third year to really decide whether or not clinical medicine is for you. I mean you say you're more passionate about public health than medicine but you haven't even really been exposed to medicine yet.

    If you hate that as well then I would say you might as well complete an internship and get a medical license, otherwise the four years will have been for naught. If you get your MD but do nothing afterward it's pretty much useless, other than just making your CV look pretty sweet. One more year of hell in that case is well worth it.
     
  6. I recommend talking to an advisor, mentor, or some sort of counselor. If I was in your situation, I would leave med school BUT that's me; if I'm not happy doing something, I won't risk my health by continuing with it. Also I don't think the MD will add much w/o the experience, i.e., residency. Who knows, you may decide to pursue another doctorate more related to the field of public health you are interested in
     
  7. thedelicatessen

    thedelicatessen In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Of course, there are options other than residency, but very few people are able to find something like that.

    I'm also doing MD/MPH, so I can relate to being interested in two different fields of study. If you were to do MPH only, do you have a specific plan for your career goals? I ask that because it seems that career prospects are kind of limited if you only have an MPH without a prior career or without an additional degree. If you continue with the MD/MPH, you will have more clinical options in public health research if you choose to go that direction.

    Having said that, if you do decide to drop the MD, I would definitely suggest going on to a DrPH or a PHD to increase your knowledge in your field. Good luck!
     
  8. Queenie84

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    Thanks for all your insight guys. I think I'm gonna follow the advice you all gave and just tough out the rest of the year. I have heard that 3rd and 4th year are better (although I was also told by many people that second year is better than first year, which in my case is bull...but that just goes to show that everyone is different).

    I spoke to my advisor and I think I'm going to take the year out, finish my MPH, and then continue with 3rd and 4th year. That seems more "doable" and something I'm more amicable towards.

    Again, Cheers!
     

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