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JTDagupan

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So, I am thinking about doing one of those one-year MPH programs for medical students (???), and I do not know much about these programs. Can anyone help? Basically, I wanted to know how competitive these programs were, what I should be looking for? Also, I wanted to know when most student do this program - after 2nd, after 3rd, or after med school completely? I'm at a med school does doesn't have an MPH program, but I would really like to get my MPH. :confused:
 

Adcadet

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well, I haven't done an MD/MPH program, but I did just finish up my Epi MPH and am starting medical school this fall. I also spent some time talking with MD/MPH students in my program (Univ. of MN). A few thoughts:

1. I'm not sure MPH programs are all that competitive to get into, especially if you are in an MD program and have a good reason for wanting the MPH. Hopkins and Harvard SPH might be harder to get into. I would recommend looking at ASPH accredited schools.
(http://www.asph.org/document.cfm?page=200)

It seems you're probably closest to Emory, which has a good name at my school (not that that means much).

2. In my opinion (take it for what it's worth), your public health training is what you make it. The material is largely the same at every school I image, and most profs probably teach most of the same stuff. IMO what makes a school good is having profs and fellow students that you can discuss stuff with - and I image every decent SPH has at least some bright, inquisitive students to do this with. It's just a matter of finding them.

3. The students I saw at U of MN were mostly from Univ. of MN-Duluth, where they did their first two years of med school while doing a public health seminar each semester, then they did a full year (and summer I think) in Minneapolis in the SPH before doing MS3 and 4 (also in Minneapolis - that's where U of MN-Duluth students do their last two years).

4. I would look for schools that match your interests. If you want to do, say, infectious disease epi, and your school only has one prof doing ID Epi even though they are known as an excellent school, you may want to look elsewhere. If there is a school with a prof(s) who are doing exactly what you want, that may be the best place for you, even if that school doesn't have the best name. I don't think name means as much in public health as it does in other areas. This may be obvious, but make sure the profs in your dept/major are people you can probably work well with.


5. Oh, choose your major carefully. Not that you can't move between areas (many people do, as PH is pretty interdiscriplenary) - but it is nice if you have a major you are about. The common ones (at my school at least) are Epidemiology (most popular it seems; definitely at my school), Biostatistics (sometimes only offered as an MS, not an MPH), Maternal and Child Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Environmental Epidemiology, Public Health Nutrition, and Health Services Research and Policy. I think epi is the most flexible as it is the foundation upon which all of PH is built upon, and think most people should do an epi major. But I'm biased ;)

6. I think a single year for an MPH is too short for most people. For me (I did the two-year MPH), it took me a good two semesters to really start thinking like a public health person. Most programs (all?) require a project/thesis - I know of a few people (med students and residents) who take a while (year or more) to finish their project/thesis. This might make good sense if you really want to do a project in a particular area and it will take a while to do that project.




If there are other MD/MPH people out there, please let me know if you agree or disagree with these opinions.

Adcadet
 

secretwave101

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A large number of students from our program do MPH's. Most go after the 3rd year (Harvard almost never accepts you if you haven't finished MS3).

The previous post's comment about 1 year being short is true in many cases. This is actually the main reason that 1 yr. programs want you to have gone thru at least 1 year of clinical before entering their programs. If you have no medical background - 1 year is pretty weak.

There are lots of good programs to choose from, all pretty much the same. Costs vary quite a bit b/t state and private schools. Hopkins is generally considered the best, with Harvard, UNC, UWashington in the following top spots. Another school that is arguably better than all US schools is the School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine in Britian. They're thru the U of London. You can find them on the web.

Finally, you might consider getting your MPH paid for by doing it during your residency. There are lots of permutations of the basic theme, which is that you add about 2 years to your residency and get your MPH while getting paid as a resident. These are usually called "preventive medicine" residencies, they're everywhere, and you can actually get board cert. in it if you want.

I started my MPH, am currently in med school, and intend to complete the MPH at some point, probably as part of residency. An MPH is a very valuable addition to your education depending on what your medical interests are.
 

Adcadet

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you can also do your MPH during a fellowship, which I've seen more than during residency. I've seen a preventive med fellow, a few ID fellows, and a pulmonary and critical care fellow all do MPHs.
 

Madjimbo1

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What about the role of an MPH in a surgeon's life? Sure, you're supposed to focus on tiny details, but would an MPH and the ability to see the bigger picture really be directly applicable for, say, an orthopod? thanks for opinions and glad to hear that UNC is regarded as one of the top few schools. :D
 

secretwave101

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Depends on what the surgeon wants to do. If performing surgery is the passion, then I'd say an MPH wouldn't be super-useful, although I don't think the knowledge would ever be a total waste.

However, if there is any interest in finding ways to provide important surgeries to the greatest number of people for the lowest cost - then an MPH would be huge. In that case, I'd say a surgeon with an MPH would be the best person for the job.
 

Adcadet

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if you wanted to study the epidemiology of a surgery-related illness (incidence of post-op staph infections, incidence of CABG in different areas, outcomes research, etc) an MPH might be very useful. I think the MPH (esp. in epi) can be leveraged to study ways to improve the practice of medicine - something every academic physician is probably interested in.
 

Unda Presha_TX

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I was thinking about doing this too, but I was going to do the MPH first and then the MD. I've sortof scrapped that plan for right now. I think if you know that you are going into a specialty that isn't going to require much knowledge of population stats, diseases in a community, etc. etc., then what's the point? However, if you think that you want to go a little beyond the scope of pure surgeon duties then you should go for it. In that case, you should choose a public health grad program that matches your degree/career interests. I think you'd find that very rewarding, but what do I really know? I'm a Premed and trying to figure this stuff out myself. I recently talked a friend into doing an MPH. I think its a really good field of study. She's going to be a dentist. Good luck.
 
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