Is it smart to do a masters if I want more flexibility w/my career?

laceyee

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Jul 28, 2016
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I'd like to have flexibility with my medical career in case I decide to take a break from practice in the future. I'm assuming doctors with masters degrees (like MD/MBA, MD/MHA, MD/MPH) have a greater advantage for this. For example, I know that the FDA readily recruits people with MD/MPH, and these doctors work normal, relaxed 9-5 desk jobs. But then, with the MD, they can always go back to practice later when they get bored. And, people with MD/MHA can work in hospital administration right? I feel this flexibility would be nice esp. for family life.

So, is it a good idea to do a masters if I anticipate this type of career change?
 

Bethany555

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Aug 4, 2010
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Many attendings I know have MD/master's. However, the majority did it during a research fellowship (when it was fully funded). I'll give an example for cardiology:

A typical cardiologist would do 3 years of IM residency and 3 years of cardiology fellowship. However, an aspiring physician-scientist may do 3 years of IM residency and 4 years of cardiology fellowship (2 years primarily clinical + 2 years primarily research). During fellowship, they may take some classes and get a master's to make them more competitive for K08/K23 grants or future R01 applications. Although it is definitely not necessary, it's often convenient (free + doing a research fellowship anyway).

During medical school, I know some people taking a fifth year for an MD/MBA and MD/MPH. However, you'll have to consider the increased time and cost (if the school doesn't cover it).
 
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laceyee

Membership Revoked
Removed
Jul 28, 2016
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Many attendings I know have MD/master's. However, the majority did it during a research fellowship (when it was fully funded). I'll give an example for cardiology:

A typical cardiologist would do 3 years of IM residency and 3 years of cardiology fellowship. However, an aspiring physician-scientist may do 3 years of IM residency and 4 years of cardiology fellowship (2 years primarily clinical + 2 years primarily research). During fellowship, they may take some classes and get a master's to make them more competitive for K08/K23 grants or future R01 applications. Although it is definitely not necessary, it's often convenient (free + doing a research fellowship anyway).

During medical school, I know some people taking a fifth year for an MD/MBA and MD/MPH. However, you'll have to consider the increased time and cost (if the school doesn't cover it).
Thanks! I'm interested in primary care and global health medicine. I wanted to apply MD/MPH, but I now have 2 gap years in place so I'm thinking of doing a MPH first to make up for that time. I'm currently looking into the Dartmouth or Northwestern 1 year programs. Do you think this will be beneficial for me? It's expensive, but they do offer scholarships, so I could apply and see what financial aid looks like at the end…
 

flapjack3d

2+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2015
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Thanks! I'm interested in primary care and global health medicine. I wanted to apply MD/MPH, but I now have 2 gap years in place so I'm thinking of doing a MPH first to make up for that time. I'm currently looking into the Dartmouth or Northwestern 1 year programs. Do you think this will be beneficial for me? It's expensive, but they do offer scholarships, so I could apply and see what financial aid looks like at the end…
I'm currently getting my MPH (before my MD). As far as the skills you learn during an MPH, usually it's nothing more than what a physician has, unless you study a lot of biostats/epi/programming. Much more important for the budding public health minded MD is the connections you get from the MPH. I would advise waiting until you are in med school, or even better, in residency, to get the MPH. You'll have a better understanding of the clinical applications, it'll be fully funded, and you'll be more competitive to get into a program with more resources.
 
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