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Med students, what are your thoughts on an MPH?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Doctor Wyldstyle, May 25, 2001.

  1. Doctor Wyldstyle

    Doctor Wyldstyle Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2001
    Med students, what are your thoughts on an MPH along the Health Promotion/Disease Prevention track? How relevant is it in your opinion to have one in let's say primary care or other fields of medicine? I'm accepted to a program and may complete it in the year off during reapplication.

    wyldstyle2000
     
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  3. Kiddiedoc1

    Kiddiedoc1 Member 7+ Year Member

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    I think that it is an EXCELLENT idea! I have been meaning to get mine. I am now going to start residency and will be looking into the possibility of squeezing it in somehow. (I met a doc once who did hers during her peds residency). I thought it would give me some options for later when I may want to take the pediatrics thing a different route (clinical research, administration, starting some programs, etc). I say go for it.
    A friend of mine is doing hers during a year break between MSIII and MSIV(now turned into 2 year because she also is working at the NIH)
     
  4. Doctor Wyldstyle

    Doctor Wyldstyle Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2001
    That's reassuring. I had been torn if I was going to start the program because I am still waitlisted at 2 schools for fall entrance! It's risky, but in order to complete it in 1 year I'd have to start it in the summer nevertheless. The other consideration was taking post bac classes or science classes to improve my numbers instead. Although not spectacular, they were marginal and ok for entrance into some med schools given the averages you see for allopathic schools. I just felt that I'd get into some med school next year and an MPH just seemed more productive for myself. I hope I'm making the right decision. The biggest detractor last year was the hold up in transcripts and applying to public out-of-state schools that rarely hold out-of-state applicants to light.

    Wyldstyle2000

     
  5. getphedup

    getphedup Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2001
    greenville nc
    It is a great idea, especially with an interest in primary care-neurosurgery may be not. More and more schools are looking at it very favorably and it is a beneficial degree, whereas a masters in molecular biology or something very focused may only help you in a few classes. I am taking a year off to work in Guatemala after my M3 year and have considered getting an MPH down the road, possibly MPH in international health. One of the doctors I work with went to Chapel Hill part time for his, I think he was around 40 or so.
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    I agree with the other posters - while it won't necessarily help you get into medical school, the MPH is increasingly being recognized as a useful degree UNTO ITSELF. That is, you can find employment with it (as opposed to some other degrees like the MMS(Master of Medical Science) in many industries if medical school doesn't pan out.

    AND if medical school does pan out for you, I think it will be very valuable to you, especially in primary care fields.

    Good luck! :)
     
  7. healthydawg

    healthydawg Member 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 21, 2000
    oakland, ca, u.s.a.
    hmmm...

    i say try eating some grass. that always helps me. OH wait a sec, this isn't the premed farting thread...sorry.

    since i'm here, let me add a voice from a dawg who's been in public health for several years. i think in general, you should consider your career goals very carefully before you choose which public health track you want to go down - in case med school doesn't work out.

    the MPH is an ok degree on it's own and a great companion degree to an MD/DO. however, i don't think you need an MPH to go into public health. in fact i know you don't. so if that's a concern, don't worry about it. the vast majority of people in public health do not have MPHs.

    in my experience, this is especially true of the line you're talking about, health promotion/disease prevention. it's also true of health ed and community health ed.
    although a lot of my colleagues would deny me my water bowl for a week if they heard me say this, i honestly don't think you need the degree if you're headed for one of those fields. a graduate degree in social work, social psych, ed, health admin or a host of others will serve you just as well. spending a few years at a CBO with some supervisorial experience will do you just as well too.

    now if you're interested in epi/biostats, env health, infectious disease, international health or something along those lines, then by all means do the MPH. it will really make a difference. and you will be able to jump into community health or disease prevention, etc. if you want to - not so the other way around, unfortunately.

    there are also some fields like maternal and child health where you can get an epi specialization and cross into both community health and HPDP. IMHO, that's a good mix.

    finally, you should consider a peripheral field like health services research or bioinformatics or even information technology with a specialization in health information systems. these are all up and coming disciplines. i predict holders of these degrees will be coveted in years to come.

    hope this helps. good luck.
     
  8. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    New York, New York
    I think an MPH is a great degree to have if you're truly in using the MPH in practice, as in preventive medicine or something of that sort.

    But if you're thinking of using the MPH to boost your chances of getting into medical school, you may be in for a surprise. AdComs are interested first in knowing that a student can handle the science courseload and then they're concerned with selecting students who won't scare patients.

    Most student seeking reapplication were originally turned down because of a relatively lower science GPA/science MCATs, I'm willing to bet. Doing an MPH may raise your GPA, but it won't do anything to convince AdComs that you're ready for a tough science courseload.
     
  9. Kiddiedoc1

    Kiddiedoc1 Member 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with Tim. A MPH won't IMPROVE chances for med school acceptance. Only do it if you really WANT the degree and have a use for it...
     
  10. spacecadet22

    spacecadet22 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 23, 2001
    New Haven, CT
    I don't know about an MPH not improving your chances of getting into school! I know of a couple folks who were unsuccessful the first time around...got an MPH...presto 5 or 6 acceptances. I think it depends how you work you program--ie what you do in your space time. Can you work on a research project? Even a small one might help. Or can you volunteer at a clinic and collect some population study data? think about working this program to your advantage.
    Also, which MPH program are we talking about? They are not all created equal and some by far are better than others. And of course, it is even better if it is connected to a medical school. The ones that stand alone aren't always so great. Good luck but I stay go for it.
     
  11. Doctor Wyldstyle

    Doctor Wyldstyle Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 22, 2001
    I was interested in George Washington's MPH program. Know anyting about it? Also, what were the stats for the folks u know who had an MPH degree who got into med school?

     
  12. NewAgeDO

    NewAgeDO RockstarDOc 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 7, 2000
    Walnut, CA
    Wyldestyle,

    I'm sure you already know my thoughts about the MPH, but I'll post it out for others to read as well. AdComs (at least the ones I've talked to) said most Master's degrees improve the overall GPA minimally, and only increase chances of getting in just slightly. Reason being? Specific Adcoms stated that overall SCIENCE GPA doesn't change much. If you're worried about numbers (which I think you shouldn't be) and feel you need to improve, re-taking some classes is always the best way to increase GPA (just make sure you get an A). Also, the AdComs definitely want to see some experience in the health field (which you already have), especially if you're consider DO school. Now, you gotta ask yourself, "Am I getting this MPH mainly to increase my chances for med school?" or "Is this degree really for my benefit in the future when I'll be using it alongside my MD or DO degree?" Because if it's the latter I say go for it 100% (I'm gonna want a med group partner with an MPH degree), but if it's mainly to increase chances for med school, I agree with some of the other posters that it's not necessary and that there are other things that will improve your chances OVERALL to all med schools and not just GW. Remember what our pre-health advisor said: "Anyone can get to med school, you just need to be persistent and find the route that will get you there." WE all have different ways of getting there. I'm sure my way was different than everyone else's, and vice versa. Just my 2 cents. Good luck partner. I know you'll do it, just like I said wildpanda would!!!
     
  13. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Dawg is quite right, but if you are truely interested in epi, biostats, etc. without another graduate degree, an MPH won't get you far. If you want a masters, go for an MS.

    As for using MPH to improve your science GPA, don't bother. Most MPH courses aren't hard core science. And, it goes under graduate GPA, so it won't raise the all important undergrad GPA at all.

    Another thing to consider is that some programs require 2 years to complete a degree if you don't have another graduate degree, or a nursing degree.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my program and would repeat it in an instant (unlike med school!
    :D ) However, it just doesn't work well as a stepping stone.
     

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