Med Science Masters vs. MPH vs. NIH Fellowship

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by ethicskid, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. ethicskid

    ethicskid Junior Member

    Dec 13, 2005
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    So I'm not sure exactly if I'm posting this in the right section, but hopefully someone here will have a thought.

    I'm reapplying for med school, but based on my lack of response, my only OK MCAT (26S), and OK culmulative science GPA (2.9), I'm less-than-optimistic about my chances. So I'm trying to figure out a what my Plan B options are. I currently work in bioethics/health policy and have a strong publication/teaching background. As I see them:

    1. I could enter a 1-year med. science masters (BU, Georgetown, Loyola) and reapply either for 2007 or 2008 (thoughts about applying before completing the program would be appreciated). The upside is that I boost my basic science GPA, the downside is that it doesn't have any real application beyond med-school prep and I'm concerned I'd get bored with it;
    2. I could enter a 2-year MPH program. I've been told by a respected MD/MPH that I'd make a strong candidate. The upside is that I was planning on doing one in tandem with and MD or shortly after graduation anyway, and it'll get me some anaytical coursework. The downside is that I don't boost my basic science GPA. I'd apply in 2007 for 2008 entrance;
    3. I'm applying for an NIH fellowship in medical ethics (again, told by a respected MD in bioethics that I'd make a strong candidate). It's highly competitive, and if I got in, I've been told I should take it. The upside its that it has a fantastic track record in getting people into top post-grad schools. The downside is that it doesn't give me any formal transcript.

    All options also involve retaking the MCAT August 2006.

    Any ideas anyone would have would be very appreciated, especially if you've gone through something similar yourself.
  2. TX515

    TX515 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2005
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    I think the medical science master's will help you the most. At the least, it will give you an extra piece of paper that says you can be taught. Your reading ability and knowledge base/problem solving ability should increase because of the program. Retake the MCAT, increase your score, do well in your classes, and you should come out fine. And I'll be doing a similar thing if I am not accepted this semester, with the exception I'll be going straight bio master's. The only thing about degree seeking programs is that the medical schools I've talked to say you must complete the program before they will let you enroll. So, if you go the master's route, plan on not being in medical school for the next two years. It would be possible to apply next year, get accepted, and defer for a year to complete the degree requirements.
  3. PhDtoDO

    PhDtoDO Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2005
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    Don't know much about med masters it something new? Is it a Post Bac...I don't personally recommend those.

    I did an NIH fellowship and an MSPH (masters of science in public health) one can do an MPH or an MSPH in 1 to 1.5 years and it tends to be cheaper...MSPH at my school, Tulane , had fewer class hours required but I took way more...was going to go August to June but wanted to study in cuba for 2 weeks so I delayed to apply for summer FA/school. Loved it. Check with the schools you're looking at. In my college(UofChicago) we did quarters and took 3-4 classes a SPH, I took 8-10 classes and they were much more condensed...I had tons of free time to hit bourbon and study.

    MPH is much bigger than the NIH but I recommend both. You can also take classes...grad science (science GPA!) at the NIH, must be approved by your PI, but no big night a week for a semester. Free of course.

    Just my 2 Cents,

  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
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    Attending Physician
    Actually grad science doesn't help the science GPA -- BCPM is just affected by UG and (in a separate column) postbac. Not sure why you are personally not recommending a postbac -- far more people have used that route as a successful one to med school than any the OP has listed. Also when you are close enough to a 3.0 in BCPM I would be tempted to do something to push that over that psychologically important edge.
    However I agree with the first responder, the SMP (at esp. Gtown) probably makes the most sense if you can get in (a big if, given your listed stats). I think the MPH tends not to carry much weight with med schools for those who are lacking in the hard sciences. In any route, you probably will want to retake the MCAT. No idea about the NIH thing, but I tend to doubt that it will have as much impact as something that shows you can handle the hard sciences (which your BCPM and MCAT score thus far don't really). Good luck

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