Hi all, I'm new to the SDN forum. Was just wondering-- I am considering doing a full-calendar year master's program in mental health counseling (would get a M.S.Ed, but not a license unless if I do a second year) before applying to medical school. If I were to enter medical school, I would like to be a psychiatrist. I would enter in September of 2012, finish in August of 2013, while applying to medical school beginning June of 2012 for 2013 matriculation. Am wondering if anyone has done that before (and if there are any known drawbacks)? What are people's thoughts on doing a masters (in a non-science field) before going to medical school? A bit about myself- I am really interested in psychiatry, and would probably pursue that if I were to do medical school. Would definitely go the MD route, instead of the MD/PhD route. Have already taken the MCATs (32R) and have an okay-GPA from a double-major engineering degree (3.68c, 3.72s). Have a decent amount of experience volunteer/clinical/research-wise. Am taking two years off after undergrad-- my first year is currently working as a research tech at a children's hospital. If I were to do the masters program for my second year off, I would be ending my research tech position a year early (and eliminating the chance of a publication). I would really want this M.S.Ed because i'm really interested in counseling (have always been), and in some ways I am still deciding if I would want to go down a counseling or psychiatry career path. If I were to be a doctor/psychiatrist, I think knowing counseling skills would be really good skills to have. I hear psychiatrists are being trained more for the science/prescribing-medicine aspect during residency etc, and less for the human/relating to patients/compassionate-side. And, a minor reason, I think it'd be an interesting/unique addition to the med school application. I have a few questions-- There seem to be a lot of med students/psychiatry residents floating around in this thread. Was wondering-- have any of you considered grad school for counseling instead of med school? And if so, why did you choose psychiatry over counseling? What are the pros and cons of psychiatry versus counseling? Also, are psychiatrists trained to be good therapists in medical school (I'm interested in doing therapy, regardless of whatever degree i end up getting)? Would you recommend getting a degree in counseling before getting a degree in psychiatry? If I were to do the masters program, i'd probably end up with about 20-30K in loans. Anyone willing to offer up thoughts/opinions/ advice? Thaaanks so much!