Should I do the MA in my application year or just work a bit and take a couple more science classes?

  • Do the MA and go another $10k in debt!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Chill out! Just take it easy and mentally prepare for 4 years of med school.

    Votes: 2 100.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Dr. Leo Spaceman

5+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2015
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A place called Kokomo
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Hello!

I have a BA in econ and will be finishing up my prerequisites for med school/taking the MCAT this academic year. During my application year (2017-2018), I have the option of taking out another $10,000 student loan and doing a 1-year MA in managerial economics at the University of Oklahoma. I love econ, its a fascinating subject to me, and I think an even better understanding of it might possibly help me be a better physician.

But is it worth it? Does anybody have any experience with the pros/cons of earning a similar graduate degree before your MD/DO? Maybe it could make me more competitive for certain residencies in the sense that I am more "unique" or possibly even prepare me for leadership positions within a hospital/practice group? I'm really just trying to explore all my options here and I am so grateful for the collective experiences this forum offers.

As always, I really appreciate your time!
 

eteshoe

.......
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Jan 4, 2016
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Hey there,

First off I did do an MSc in Analytical Biochem before med/grad school. It was helpful for me due to where I was coming from at that point in my life. Now here's the rub: my degree was completely funded due to winning a fellowship, so I was totally fine in doing the degree w/o worrying about cost, etc.

From what you've described, I can't really say it's worth it from an economic standpoint. While learning more managerial economics could be useful, it would be quite a while before you'd utilize any of that knowledge (e.g. after rising through the ranks as an attending and requiring more business and management skills). Your time would be better spent taking on some form of employment that would offer you some translational knowledge and more importantly a steady stream of income during your gap year. You could always get an MA or MBA later in life when it would be of more immediate use to you. Just my opinion so take it as you will.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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Oct 12, 2004
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Good grief, how is it possible that a smart guy or gal like you could be contemplating taking on a quarter million dollars' worth of debt for med school, and still wonder if taking out additional loans to get a boondoggle MA is a good idea? :eyebrow:

You probably won't be surprised that my answer to your question is, heck no, you should not take out another $10k worth of loans to get a degree that is completely useless for getting you into residency. Don't get me wrong: I'm all in favor of learning for its own sake. If you're wanting to study economics out of intellectual interest, I'd suggest making use of MIT Open Courseware, which will allow you to take a variety of Econ classes for free. But in addition, you should spend that year doing something that makes real economic sense, and work FT. That way, you can earn an extra $10k to pay for your med school apps/interviews, because getting into med school *will* help make it possible for you get into residency some day. Not to mention that having some work experience will help you relate better to your future patients, most of whom will be working the same kind of entry-level jobs that you will likely have as a new grad. Seriously, I don't think any doc's first experience of working for a living should occur during their intern year....
 

Dr. Leo Spaceman

5+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2015
69
70
A place called Kokomo
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Your time would be better spent taking on some form of employment that would offer you some translational knowledge and more importantly a steady stream of income during your gap year.
But in addition, you should spend that year doing something that makes real economic sense, and work FT. That way, you can earn an extra $10k to pay for your med school apps/interviews, because getting into med school *will* help make it possible for you get into residency some day.

It looks like the $10k and 1 year lost earnings to study econ at the graduate level would not be a great decision! Thanks for the feedback!
 
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