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MD/MPH is it worth it?

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southsidesfinest

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Hello all, I am matriculating into medical school this summer and I'm interested in the public health, urban bioethics type spectrum of MD dual degrees. However, I'm curious to see what the benefits are other then supplementing your medical school education?

Does having a dual degree make your more appealing to residency programs?

I'm prematurely curious in a surgical specialty, is there value in having an MPH and being a Surgeon?

What jobs opportunities are opened up as a result of having an MPH?

All information is welcome!
 

Dral

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The degree itself probably doesn't help a ton. However, research and other things you can get done during the MPH time before you apply for residencies can help (research and what not).

I did an MPH during med school. I still use things I learned from it (Though I wish I could have gotten more from Stats, but I'm baseline not good at math so that's no surprise).
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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I felt my MPH was very worth it. I don’t think the degree itself changed much for residency but the research and other experience I did in connection with it were definitely a big part of my application.

An MPH could lead you to work in something like public health settings (like a state or local health department) or public health research, or just help inform your practice in a regular medical specialty (especially if you do something like ID where it’s very relevant)
 
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pazzer2

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MPH is useful if you ever intend to go into pharmacovigilance, drug safety, epidemiology, etc. These are commonly found in many of the big pharma companies.
 
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calivianya

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I got my MPH while in med school. I don't think it helped directly with my residency apps, but it has been a great interview talking point. When my other questions dried up or were already answered, I was pretty happy to throw out a "what kind of outreach programs do you guys have" and "what opportunities to create my own outreach programs would I have" and things of that nature to my interviewers. I had a lot of good public health-related conversations with a lot of people. I had several people directly ask as an interview question how I planned on using my MPH in my chosen field (rads) and people seemed very pleasantly surprised that I had thought of this and had great answers. It only made my interviews go better IMO.

It also broke up the endless monotony of Anki cards all day, every day, that was so prevalent during the first two years. It means I got to actually think creatively and use my brain beyond just mashing the spacebar. I honestly felt like my MPH classes were a breath of fresh air and helped keep me sane.
 
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SurfingDoctor

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Hello all, I am matriculating into medical school this summer and I'm interested in the public health, urban bioethics type spectrum of MD dual degrees. However, I'm curious to see what the benefits are other then supplementing your medical school education?

Does having a dual degree make your more appealing to residency programs?

I'm prematurely curious in a surgical specialty, is there value in having an MPH and being a Surgeon?

What jobs opportunities are opened up as a result of having an MPH?

All information is welcome!
Yes, anyone with a dual degree is more appealing as a residency applicant than someone who doesn't have one. Just make sure that you have a plan to use it in your future career that you can articulate to a program director.
 

Redpancreas

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Yes, anyone with a dual degree is more appealing as a residency applicant than someone who doesn't have one. Just make sure that you have a plan to use it in your future career that you can articulate to a program director.

More appealing to what extent and at what opportunity cost?
 
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SurfingDoctor

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More appealing to what extent and at what opportunity cost?
Well, I mean its certainly relative, but many in prestigious academic programs had opportunity (ie time and money lost) costs to get where they were. Thus it can be viewed amongst those in leadership position as those who pursue opportunity costs in the educational sense are of the same ilk and thus, viewed more favorably.

I was told this time and time again in medicine and I’ve found it to be relatively true. Prestige comes with a price but is usually rewarded in turn. Of course, if this is irrelevant to someone, then it doesn’t really matter. The average Joe doesn’t care about that… they just want “X” fixed and it could be whoever.

And then of course, there’s the back door to personal cost… nepotism.
 
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Redpancreas

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Well, I mean its certainly relative, but many in prestigious academic programs had opportunity costs to get where they were. Thus it can be viewed amongst those in leadership position as those who pursue opportunity costs in the educational sense are of the same ilk and thus, viewed more favorably.

I was told this time and time again in medicine and I’ve found it to be relatively true. Prestige comes with a price but is usually rewarded in turn. Of course, if this is irrelevant to someone, then it doesn’t really matter. The average Joe doesn’t care about that… they just want “X” fixed and it could be whoever.

And then of course, there’s the back door to personal cost… nepotism.

Agreed 100%
 

pazzer2

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Interesting you say this since that isn’t what i was thinking tbh but TIL
I've been working in the pharma/biotech industry for 20+ years. Drug safety and pharmacovigilance is an interesting field. Trying to detect emerging safety signals from new medications. This is done using cool techniques that originate in epidemiology. So an MPH is a really valuable addition to MDs who want to go into this area.
 

calivianya

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More appealing to what extent and at what opportunity cost?
Can't address the more appealing part but I don't personally think there was an opportunity cost.

I stayed in the top 1/4 of my class and got good board scores while doing my dual DO/MPH. Could I have done better? Obviously idk the answer to that for sure, but I'm thinking probably not. The MPH really was a minimal time commitment, mostly a couple hours a week or less, and it didn't interfere with either my studying for my med classes or my free time. Still platinumed plenty of games on the PS4 and went out with friends a lot while getting both degrees concurrently. The only real conflict I had was during residency interview season - I had to take an alternate date for a couple of pre-interview socials bc they conflicted with a mandatory Zoom class, but I still went to every single social except for one I forgot about.

I don't think I could have done much better on either boards or in my classes if I'd used the time spent on the MPH studying for them instead. The MPH degree just wasn't a significant enough time commitment to swing major changes.
 
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Redpancreas

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Can't address the more appealing part but I don't personally think there was an opportunity cost.

I stayed in the top 1/4 of my class and got good board scores while doing my dual DO/MPH. Could I have done better? Obviously idk the answer to that for sure, but I'm thinking probably not. The MPH really was a minimal time commitment, mostly a couple hours a week or less, and it didn't interfere with either my studying for my med classes or my free time. Still platinumed plenty of games on the PS4 and went out with friends a lot while getting both degrees concurrently. The only real conflict I had was during residency interview season - I had to take an alternate date for a couple of pre-interview socials bc they conflicted with a mandatory Zoom class, but I still went to every single social except for one I forgot about.

I don't think I could have done much better on either boards or in my classes if I'd used the time spent on the MPH studying for them instead. The MPH degree just wasn't a significant enough time commitment to swing major changes.
That's interesting. I know a couple people who did an MPH. Most took an addition year to do it separate from classes so.I assumed it was a major time sink. Maybe you have a point if you were able to do it concurrently with classes. Everyone's medical school's different but something to keep in mind.
 

aldol16

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I think if you're asking, it's probably not the right path for you. Not because it wouldn't give you new knowledge or it wouldn't be helpful to have that knowledge - it's that this is probably a sign that you should give it more thought and see if you can articulate a reason (for yourself) for what you would use it for. You don't need an MPH to be involved in public health as an MD. But if you want to launch yourself into a public health career and make the right connections early on, the MPH could open some doors for you, although you won't be using it until after residency and probably not for a long time after that either. MPH's cost money and it's not the greatest return on investment, especially when you're giving up a year of attending pay for it down the road.

Also, it does not help you get into a competitive surgical residency. What helps you get into competitive surgical residencies is doing well in school, doing research, and knowing the right people. Those are the things that you can control.
 
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