MPH before MD?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by neuropsych, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    I am currently pursuing an MPH and plan to apply to medical school next summer.

    Have any of you taken an MPH before going on to medical school? Did you find this degree useful in gaining admission?

    Thank you! :clap:
     
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  3. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler

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    I'm thinking about doing an MPH b4 MD. How is it? Do u like it? What can u do with an MPH?
     
  4. ang

    ang New Member

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    I'm currently a MPH student and I'm applying now - I'll let you know if it helps! :)
     
  5. ang

    ang New Member

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    with an MPH, there are many concentrations that you can pursue - Health Policy, Global Health, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Chronic Diseases, etc. Each school offers different concentrations so depending on where you want to go and what you want to do with the MPH - look at the school's websites.

    here is a link to my school's homepage -

    http://info.med.yale.edu/eph/index.html

    this is a link to the career services - you can see what people are doing with an MPH degree as well as what type of jobs are available.

    http://info.med.yale.edu/eph/ocs/
     
  6. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler

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    Wow, that's so helpful--thanks!
     
  7. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    I think the usefulness of getting an MPH depends on why you're getting it. If you're doing it because you have a sincere interest in Public Health as a career when you become a physician that's one thing. But if you're doing it to improve you're GPA or increase your chances of being admitted into medical school you may have some problems.


    I went to UNC-Chapel Hill originally with the intention of getting an MPH (UNC has a VERY GOOD program). After a dismal showing at the undergradute level, I needed to raise my GPA. I also had an interest in Public Health as evidenced by my current position as an Epidemiologist. However, I was STRONGLY encouraged NOT to get the MPH by UNC medical school adcom members and other medical schools like Harvard, Michigan because the requirements for this degree do not include "hard core" science classes. I opted for an MS in Biochemistry, took a few public health courses on the side, and I'm now in a much better position for admission to medical school, assuming of course I ace the MCAT. The MPH is definitely NOT the "stepping stone" it used to be.
     
  8. MedApp2003

    MedApp2003 Senior Member

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    I've heard it is more useful to get an MPH after or during med school (if you are sure you want to go to med school). For one thing, getting an MPH with an MD only takes 1 year as opposed to two if you don't have an MD. So you save a year's tuition money and maybe both year's tuition money because some med schools have programs where you can get an MD and an MPH in four years and some schools have scholarship money for med students pursuing an MPH. Also, once you have started med school you might get a better sense of how an MPH would fit into your career goals, so your MPH could be more focused.
     
  9. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    This isn't always true. In my program, everyone took the same # of classes.

    I was told that in looking at applicants who are otherwise equal (very similar GPA, MCAT, ECs), the one with the MPH will have a definite advantage. That said, don't do an MPH just to improve your chances...be sure that you like the program and think you can use the information you learn. Why spend an extra 1-2 yrs in school for something you don't want to use.

    And, yes, I did my MPH before med school. I did health admin & policy and worked for a couple of years for a nonprofit health organization before entering med school.
     
  10. closertofine

    closertofine Emerging from hibernation

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    I'm graduating this May and am going to have to take a year off to take the MCAT, apply, etc. I am interested in public health, but I don't know if I want to spend two years getting an MPH. Does anyone know of any good one-year MPH programs? Or is an MD required to finish in a year?
     
  11. athena21

    athena21 Senior Member

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    Boston University and George Washington University both have 1-year programs...
     
  12. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for your posts!

    I actually decided to pursue an MPH because I really enjoy research and did not want to abandon it for 8 years of medical training right after college. At the same time, I am also interested in clinical neuropsychology PhD programs so I am hoping that some extra time and exposure to the heathcare field will allow me to make a better decision regarding my ultimate
    career goals.

    Public health is an incredibly diverse field. While not recognized as a "hard science," it offers superb research opportunities in various areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, health services, health policy, environmental health, and occupational health, to name a few.

    The advantage to having an MPH if you're undecided about medical school is that you have a wide array of career options following graduation. According to the 2002/2003 Graduate School edition of US News, recent graduates of MPH programs can expect to make $40-75K per year. That's not bad considering most programs are 1-2 years in length and that BAs straight out of college pull in a dismal $15-25K per year.

    Money aside, public health affords you an opportunity to see medicine from a different perspective, and to appreciate a wider view of the medical field. Moreover, public health students are encouraged to pursue different levels of academics and research involving such diverse areas as medicine, law, statistics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

    Here's an article from monster.com entitled, "What To Do With an MPH":

    http://healthcare.netscape.monster.com/articles/publichealth/

    Cheers,

    neuropsych

    P.S. Regarding the MPH program at Boston University, it may be possible to finish the degree in a year depending on which courses are offered and which concentration you pick. Several of my friends have completed the program, and they told me that full-time students can definitely finish in a year and a half while part-time students usually take 2-1/2 to 3 years. It's also pretty darn expensive to go to school there and to live in Boston!
     
  13. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    I'm in my second year of an MPH in epidemiology (ya know, the core of public health), and am currently applying to med schools. I definitely agree with many here - only do the MPH if you like public health and PubH is probably not a good choice if you're mainly looking to raise your science GPA. I find it odd that some schools would discourage the MPH degree across the board. My school's program (U of MN) is a bit more "liberal arts" than many other programs, so I actually have time to take a few non-public health classes if I want to - I took virology, and a toxicology class so far. I think this type of MPH program is great for pre-meds.

    At my school (U of MN) only those with doctorates (PhD, MD, DDS, DVM, etc) can do the one year program - although I definitely don't think a single year is enough - if I were running a health agency that needed a public health person and had a candidate who did a 2-year MPH then med school and one who did med school first then a 1-year MPH, I'd be inclined to take the 2-yr MPH/MD (assuming the 2-yr/MD person had relevant public health experience during or after med school). On the other hand, having the MD (or whatever) probably makes the MPH training a bit more helpful. I've just seen too many MDs in my program take the public health courses and be unable to break from the medicine viewpoint to see the public health side of things - what a waste of time for them!
     
  14. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    I agree with adcadet that a full 1.5 to 2-year program offers a more complete view of public health -- from academics to applied research to practica.

    There are some docs and fellows in the program I am in (U. of Connecticut) and it seems as if public health allows them to escape from the patient-physician world they know so well to a field that offers more latitude and understanding of the trends involved in medicine today.

    Either way, I think an MPH is one of the most valuable degrees to have in today's job market. It's also a fun and exciting area! :clap:

    neuropsych
     
  15. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    Any MPH to MD stories?
     
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  17. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    ha! maybe this is skewed by doctors who get their mph? it is VERY hard to find a job that pays >$50,000 if you're just coming out without much work experience. if you want to do statistics/research, you can make $40,000-$50,000. if you want to work with people you'd be very lucky to make much over $40,000. this has been my experience in the bay area. i can't imagine what its like in the rest of the contry.
     
  18. doepug

    doepug Senior Member

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    Several (>5) people in my class got an MPH or MHS (similar program) prior to medical school. At my institution, it is exceedingly common to get an MPH either before or after med school.

    Cheers,

    doepug
    MS III, Johns Hopkins
     
  19. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    thats about right for the rest of the country, from all the openings i've looked at, maybe a little lower than 40k for working in a really rural setting, say state health department of ga or nebraska or something
     
  20. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    Lola,

    I completely agree with you that graduates coming straight out of MPH programs do not -- in most circumstances -- make more than $50,000/year. We'd have to check where U.S. News got their data to see if any docs were skewing the distribution.

    In my homestate of Connecticut, the State Department of Public Health is currently looking for a Planning Analyst and a Public Health Communications Specialist. Both positions require 1-2 years of experience after the MPH, and pay between $58,000 - $72,000/year.

    Here's a recent salary report from the Yale School of Public Health. Docs may have skewed these averages, too:

    http://info.med.yale.edu/eph/ocs/page36.html

    What type of work do you do, Lola?

    neuropsych
     
  21. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent

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    Neuropsych...just wanted to ask you about the clinical neuropsych PhD. i took a human neuropsych class last semester and have been fascinated with it since then...what schools are good for it? i'm not going to apply, but i was just wondering since it's definitely what i would do if i didn't do medicine/become a doctor).
     
  22. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    neuropsych,
    i have an ms in epidemiology. i worked as a data analyst for a year at a va hospital. i'm now working at ucsf doing more public health stuff. it is very numbers based stuff, but i don't actually do a lot of number crunching anymore. i assist county mch directors and epidemiologists and work on some data policy projects.
     
  23. anxiousmed

    anxiousmed Senior Member

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    I also finished my MPH in Health Policy Administration...I got offered a job to work as a policy analyst for a local health department. Pay was 59 K starting with A TON of benefits...I rejected that instead to retake the MCAT start this AP program at CMS and hopefully get in somewhere else this year...or CMS. I don't really think it helps for med school...you should really want to do the MPH
     
  24. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    Thank you all for your posts! It's nice to see how many "public health conscious" folks are out there!

    Chopsuey,

    Clinical neuropsychologists predominantly have a PhD in Clinical Psychology and have worked alongside neuropsychologists on their dissertations, clinical internships, and postdoctoral fellowships. If you're interested in pursuing clinical neuropsychology, I recommend seeking out PhD programs in Clinical Psychology that have faculty who specialize in clinical neuropsychology. University of Florida-Gainesville, University of Connecticut, University of Madison-Wisconsin, and Boston University are some top-notch programs in this area.

    Click here for a more extended discussion of neuropsychology:

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=42502
     
  25. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    bump da bump
     
  26. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent

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    thanks for the link, neuropsych....you know what's annoying? i would LOVE to do research in neuropsych in my career, but i don't think i want to enter neurology or psychiatry as a practice. i wish there was another way to combine them. i'm sure i'll find one eventually, but any ideas would be welcome!
     
  27. neuropsych

    neuropsych Member

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    Hi chopsuey!

    Seems as if you and I are dealing with the same conundrum!

    I, too, have been wrestling with the idea of having to abandon research for eight years of clinical training. However, after speaking to several psychiatrists, I have learned that quite a few practicing psychiatrists also have concurrent research programs. In fact, I just got back from Psychiatry Grand Rounds at the UConn Health Center where I learned that the residency program is adopting a program that will "require" (not official yet) PGY1 residents to pair up with a research mentor. In my opinion, this is the future of psychiatry as the entire healthcare system is shifting toward adopting an evidence-based model. Whether or not this applies to other areas of medicine is unclear.

    A PhD in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology will certainly allow you to enjoy a research career in neuropsychology with some additional exposure to clinical work. How you balance research and clinical work is really up to you. In my understanding, clinical neuropsychologists spend more time with patients than psychiatrists as their evaluations take a longer time to conduct as they have to evaluate various cognitive domains such as language, executive functioning, memory, attention, etc., in order to construct a neuropsychological profile of a patient. Rehabilitation neuropsychologists also have an interesting role in the healthcare and research world. There is quite a bit of information on neuropsychology on the web. Just type in "neuropsychology" on google and let the games begin!

    I recommend meeting with psychiatrists, clinical neuropsychologists, and whichever other type of professional you may be interested in becoming. This type of experience will place you in a much better position to decide what type of career you want to pursue. Either way, with the genetic revolution and explosion of breakthroughs in neuroscience, behavioral health will be an exciting area for at least the next 20-30 years.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you have additional questions.

    neuropsych
     

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