jbrew452

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Howdy all,

I am currently looking to apply for a MD/MS or MD/MPH program. Do you all think that a Masters of Science in Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis or a MPH in Environmental Health would be more applicable to a career in medicine? I am hoping to either specialize in Infectious Diseases or Emergency Medicine (still have a couple of years to decide) but would like a masters nonetheless because I hope to pursue a career in academic medicine. I'd like to practice in a clinical setting mainly but would also like to teach/research a bit on the side. Thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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jbrew452

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Applicable to a career in medicine? Neither. Focus on getting into medical school the traditional way.
I'm not planning on using this as a way to get into medical school. I was just looking for a program that might help me in my career.
 
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May 23, 2012
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Okay. A Masters of Science in Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis or a MPH in Environmental Health will likely not help you much in your career. In my opinion it would be a waste of time, energy and money. Getting involved with research at your med school or with organizations such as the NIH or CDC would be a better use of your time.
 
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jbrew452

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Okay. A Masters of Science in Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis or a MPH in Environmental Health will likely not help you much in your career. In my opinion it would be a waste of time, energy and money. Getting involved with research at your med school or with organizations such as the NIH or CDC would be a better use of your time.
Okay great thanks so much!
 

hurryupnwait

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I disagree with the posts above. I got an MPH in epidemiology between M3 and 4, which I felt was immensely helpful in learning about clinical research and statistics. Once you learn a little SAS and stats (and the nitty gritty details about obtaining institutional IRB and availability of public databases out there), it's easy to help residents and fellows out with data analysis and get your name on multiple publications. Not only that, I had a solid year to work on my own projects on the side, which really strengthened my application.

Environmental health is definitely relevant to EM, but I have to say I'm partial to epi/stats. And it may not be the degree itself that will be helpful for residency apps, but what you do during that year that counts more. If you're looking ahead to academic appointments as faculty though, I definitely believe having an MD/MPH will be helpful (especially if you have a long publication list with this).
 
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I see many hospital admins with the MD/MPH package. I also think the MPH, depending on your focus, could absolutely help you in broadening your research tool set with respect to infectious disease, maybe more towards the global epidemiological side of things as opposed to the molecular world, but non-the-less something to add to your repertoire. Just my two cents though.
 

alpinism

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If you're interested in a certain subject (plus want further training beyond med school), have the money to spare (or don't mind the extra debt), and are planning on going into academics (teaching/research) then getting either one can be helpful for your future career.

However, as others have mentioned, they likely won't help you very much to become better at clinical medicine.

Clinical expertise is usually obtained during fellowship training.
 

deuist

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I got an MPH in epidemiology between M3 and 4, which I felt was immensely helpful in learning about clinical research and statistics. .
All of which you can learn on your own without having to pursue an mph.

Environmental health is definitely relevant to EM
This is definitely not true. The thing that is most relevant to emergency medicine is a residency in emergency medicine.
 

hurryupnwait

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.
 

hurryupnwait

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All of which you can learn on your own without having to pursue an mph.



This is definitely not true. The thing that is most relevant to emergency medicine is a residency in emergency medicine.
I agree that you don't need formal training to learn epi/stats (and I am obviously partial given my experience), but would also argue that early MPH training broadens your understanding significantly to set you ahead of your peers -- I don't know many students and/or residents who know how to do some of the bread and butter analysis in clinical research (e.g., multivariate logistic regression, survival analysis) or clean up large, public databases. You could always hire a statistician to run your analysis, but there are so many fine details about data cleaning and analysis that get lost when you hand off your data to a non-clinician. You also acquire skills that could earn you multiple co-authorships (I had several fellows in my research group who asked for a little statistical help for co-authorship on their publications). I am aware that some residency and fellowship programs offer this type of training and even MPH training (and pursuing this route may be more desirable to many people, as these tend to cost a lot less $), but am personally glad to have had this experience during medical school to strengthen my residency application.

I would also point out the fact that a solid number of physicians with academic appointments have dual degrees (MS, MPH, PhD, and even MBA). Additional training gives you opportunities for joint appointments at other colleges, which may make you a more desirable candidate to your employers.

I also agree that EM residency training is most relevant to EM clinical practice, but still maintain that environmental epi/toxicology are interesting areas of research for EM physicians.
 
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deuist

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I would also point out the fact that a solid number of physicians with academic appointments have dual degrees (MS, MPH, PhD, and even MBA)
Yes, and lots of physicians with academic appointments do not have dual degrees. You are confusing causation with correlation – and you are a statistician no less!

Additional training gives you opportunities for joint appointments at other colleges, which may make you a more desirable candidate to your employers.
It may also make you less desirable as a candidate if you tell a potential employer, "I only want to work for you part-time and then go to another department."

I also agree that EM residency training is most relevant to EM clinical practice, but still maintain that environmental epi/toxicology are interesting areas of research for EM physicians.
Then do a toxicology fellowship if you are so interested in research. I still maintain that an mph in environmental epidemiology is a waste of time for an emergency physician.
 
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Microshaft

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clinical research is basically just testing other people's drug or using some new technology/technique and seeing how well it does compared to old stuff (u don't need another degree)

if you really want to do research (you won't) then do a masters in statistics. the other programs are a waste of time.