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MPH Program Prestige?

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GCS-15

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Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right area to post this, but here it goes:

I got in 2 MPH programs: school A is 25K total and not as prestigious. School B is double the cost, but very highly regarded. I'm applying to medical school later and want the MPH for knowledge and I want to work in public policy as a physician.

My question is: does the prestige of the MPH program matter if I decide to work in public health later as a physician? Will I get better opportunities if I go to a school with a better MPH program?


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LizzyM

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Highly regarded by whom?

What opportunities does each school offer for field work and community engagement? What are the expectations regarding practice-based activities and capstone? What do you have to show for it besides the diploma (thesis, certification, etc)
 
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GCS-15

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Highly regarded by whom?

What opportunities does each school offer for field work and community engagement? What are the expectations regarding practice-based activities and capstone? What do you have to show for it besides the diploma (thesis, certification, etc)

In terms of expectations and opportunities (from what I know) both schools are similar. I guess the question I was getting at was: does the mere fact that a school is in the top 10 rank in U.S news report for public health hold more weight in the eyes of future employers?

Edit: the top 10 school actually may have more opportunities - I still need do some more research on my part and really look into the schools. Just was trying to figure out if spending double would potentially be worth it.


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LizzyM

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I suspect that the name of the school in the eyes of the public might hold more weight than the ranking by US News. Also, there is quite a bit of bleed-over from the reputation of the school of medicine ranking even though public health and medicine are separate schools.
 
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235009

The "top" program will offer way more opportunities and the degree will be viewed as much more legitimate than the budget MPH where you usually are just getting a professor in a lecture hall and not much else. The top 10 public health programs have the leaders in the field and are involved in a good chunk of the research and work around the world. The rankings have nothing to do with the med school reputation though it is not a coincidence that highly ranked public health schools tend to be associated with highly ranked med schools (but not always).
 

LizzyM

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The "top" program will offer way more opportunities and the degree will be viewed as much more legitimate than the budget MPH where you usually are just getting a professor in a lecture hall and not much else. The top 10 public health programs have the leaders in the field and are involved in a good chunk of the research and work around the world. The rankings have nothing to do with the med school reputation though it is not a coincidence that highly ranked public health schools tend to be associated with highly ranked med schools (but not always).

I think the bench is much deeper than just the "top 10". Just be sure that the degree is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health. That is an assurance that you'll be getting more than a professor in a lecture hall (practice experiences, etc are required for accreditation).
 
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gonnif

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I suspect that the name of the school in the eyes of the public might hold more weight than the ranking by US News. Also, there is quite a bit of bleed-over from the reputation of the school of medicine ranking even though public health and medicine are separate schools.

I am not sure if the MPH impact on future job prospects will be of major as OP is planning on attending medical school. Most employment positions will likely be much more concerned with where medical training was done rather than prestige of MPH. I would also venture to say that most physicians who get MPH do so as dual degree in medical school or sometime after medical school. Lastly, for the vast majority of applicants, the impact of MPH to admission to medical school is modest. Certainly earning a degree is an accomplishment and perhaps the "prestige" of the program may have some additional benefit. But this is only after a solid academic UG record underlies the MPH.
 
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GCS-15

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Thanks for the advice everyone - looks like I have a lot to think about haha.


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GCS-15

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The "top" program will offer way more opportunities and the degree will be viewed as much more legitimate than the budget MPH where you usually are just getting a professor in a lecture hall and not much else. The top 10 public health programs have the leaders in the field and are involved in a good chunk of the research and work around the world. The rankings have nothing to do with the med school reputation though it is not a coincidence that highly ranked public health schools tend to be associated with highly ranked med schools (but not always).

Yea there's some good points - I just don't know if it'll be worth double the cost. Especially because I plan on getting an MD after.


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Goro

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Means nothing to me. The coursework at MPH programs doesn't tell me that you can handle med school. I mean, "Women's Health in the 3rd World"? "Global Health Disparities?" This is not on the same playing field as Anatomy, Physiology or Pharmacology.




In terms of expectations and opportunities (from what I know) both schools are similar. I guess the question I was getting at was: does the mere fact that a school is in the top 10 rank in U.S news report for public health hold more weight in the eyes of future employers?

Edit: the top 10 school actually may have more opportunities - I still need do some more research on my part and really look into the schools. Just was trying to figure out if spending double would potentially be worth it.


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235009

I think the bench is much deeper than just the "top 10". Just be sure that the degree is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health. That is an assurance that you'll be getting more than a professor in a lecture hall (practice experiences, etc are required for accreditation).

You're right that the bench is deeper than just the top 10, I just used that because that's how the OP characterized it. An accredited program is too low of a bar in my view.

I am not sure if the MPH impact on future job prospects will be of major as OP is planning on attending medical school. Most employment positions will likely be much more concerned with where medical training was done rather than prestige of MPH. I would also venture to say that most physicians who get MPH do so as dual degree in medical school or sometime after medical school. Lastly, for the vast majority of applicants, the impact of MPH to admission to medical school is modest. Certainly earning a degree is an accomplishment and perhaps the "prestige" of the program may have some additional benefit. But this is only after a solid academic UG record underlies the MPH.

No one should do an MPH to try and bolster their med school application and it doesn't sound like that is OP's intention. Only do it out of interest for a future career interest in academic medicine, clinical research, public health or epidemiology.

Generally better to do the MPH concurrent with or after the MD. About half of all MD schools have an affiliated MPH program for med students.

https://students-residents.aamc.org...e/directory-md-mph-educational-opportunities/

I disagree with this. Most med schools' MPH programs are essentially worthless. Just some additional coursework that you try to blow through in order to add some letters at the end of your name. It really lacks the depth and hands-on experience you get from doing a dedicated program. The 1-year programs you do after the MD can also suffer similarly from a lack of depth. Also if a program is willing to pay for it it's usually going to be some watered down MS rather than the MPH.

At one of my fellowship interviews a PD complained to me that one of his fellows did a 1-year MPH during fellowship at what was supposed to be a top program and he felt it wasn't as rigorous at which point I took the opportunity to reassure him that I had the "real" 2-year degree from a top 5 program with lots of hands-on experience.
 
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impervious0ne

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Hey @MeatTornado


Is it that bad for someone to do MPH before med school if someone isn't ready for medical school yet? (maturity, grades, life problems, etc). Especially if the applicant actually finds the field interesting? That seems to be the feeling I get from the sdn.

Some people that I talked to who did MPH at JHU (transnational science) and Michigan seemed to enjoy the academic rigor that comes with doing advanced math and biostats while exposing to the clinical research side (not sure how useful that is to everyday medicine).
 

gonnif

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Is it that bad for someone to do MPH before med school if someone isn't ready for medical school yet? (maturity, grades, life problems, etc). Especially if the applicant actually finds the field interesting? That seems to be the feeling I get from the sdn.

Some people that I talked to who did MPH at JHU (transnational science) and Michigan seemed to enjoy the academic rigor that comes with doing advanced math and biostats while exposing to the clinical research side (not sure how useful that is to everyday medicine).

MPH does nothing to enhanced an academic record (Grades/GPA) and in fact can work against an applicant who is below mean as it can create the impression of hiding a weak record. Lots of threads on this and here is one at somewhat random
https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/go-for-a-mph-during-gap-year.1207153/#post-18053623
 
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impervious0ne

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I see. Thank you @gonnif


Then by extension, is taking public health classes in your post-bacc not well regarded?
 

impervious0ne

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That isnt nearly as bad but a post-bacc should be mostly BCPM and much of the PH coursework wouldnt fit that

Just to confirm, it wouldn't be a problem as long as 16-18 credit hours are mostly upper level science classes and you fit another class for public health/class of your interest?
 
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gonnif

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Just to confirm, it wouldn't be a problem as long as 16-18 credit hours are mostly upper level science classes and you fit another class for public health/class of your interest?

that is not correct. A postbacc usually is about 30-40 credits of BCPM. having under 20 credits of BCPM with the rest PH courses will not be nearly that impressive to an adcom. without have your GPAs to judge by, it is hard to say but trying to enhance your grades with PH courses is a pretty ineffective strategy
 
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Ehwic

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Yeah go with Emory. As a former MPH student, I can tell you that you would get the best bang for your buck at that school (regardless of prestige.) But at the end it all depends on your ability to be proactive. You can be at a great school and never take advantage of the resources offered.
 
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