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I started in an epidemiology MPH program because the large university nearby had a good program, and I had always bee interested in public health and epi. I was a little surprized to find a couple of my classmates were also pre-meds. Is anyone else here an MPH pre-med? If so, did you do the MPH before thinking about applying to med school, or as a backup to med school (as in my case). Any insight as to the success of MPH students in getting into med schools? How about how to compare graduate grades with undergrad grades? Letters of rec? Any help/moral support/group complaining would be greatly appreciated.
 

Dr/\/\om

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I did my MPH while I was waiting to apply to med school (had a small child at home). There were 3 other premeds there, too. All of us are in or have been accepted to med school.

I'm not sure what you mean about comparing grad and undergrad grades. Can you clarify? Do you mean which ones were harder or how the med schools compare them...or something else?

As far as letters of rec went for me, I had 2 undergrad and 1 MPH.
 
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Originally posted by Dr/\/\om

I'm not sure what you mean about comparing grad and undergrad grades. Can you clarify? Do you mean which ones were harder or how the med schools compare them...or something else?
Yup, I was wondering how med schools weight undergrad vs. grad grades. I've done much better in my MPH classes then undergrad. I'm afraid med schools will look at my undergrad grades more since they are more of a common denominator, and there may be grade inflation in MPH programs...although I know nobody in my program who's a slacker.
 
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Dr/\/\om

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I imagine it depends on the school. As far as I understand, my med school looked at each of these: undergrad overall GPA, grad overall GPA, science GPA. They didn't seem to put less weight on the grad school.

You should benefit in two ways...1) your grad program will raise your overall GPA and 2) epidemiology includes math and science-related courses that could contribute to your science GPA.

Your grad school is more recent, so you can also play the "look at my improvement over time" card...which is certainly legit. Epidemiology is no slouch program.

I see no way which the MPH won't help you in applying to med school unless you totally bomb out (which you aren't).
 

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hey fellow MPHer's...........
I'm a MPH at Emory, and working full time at CDC.....what schools are you guys from? I will say Epi is probably the best way to go for applying to med school cause at least at my program its the most difficult, and increasingly marketable as the current national climate is starting to concentrate more on public health.

I thought it helpful to indentify schools with some explicit public health emphasis (Emory, Tulane, etc) when I sent in my amcas this june. I actually was still undecided about applying to med school when I started mph, but doing some clincal work on top of the public health stuff has been kind of a revelation of sorts.

Dr.Mom, did you just get some random prof from your PH program, or your dean, thesis advisor for your rec?

Are you guys thinking of doing some preventive/community health practice (I know its still early in the game, but just asking)?
 

Dr/\/\om

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Originally posted by DW

Dr.Mom, did you just get some random prof from your PH program, or your dean, thesis advisor for your rec?
I got my advisor/head of my program (who I took multiple classes from) to write my LOR

My MPH is from the University of Oklahoma and it is in admin and policy (I wanted epi, but they didn't offer it at the campus I went to :rolleyes: ). As far as prev/community health practice, I work for a nonprofit health org (doing admin work) and get to work with some prev/comm health issues with them, although it is not the bulk of my work.

I had another plus with my MPH & med school app: two of the family practice profs at my med school were classmates with me in the MPH program. :D
 

kathleeya

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another MPH pre-med over here!!
i applied in the 2001 cycle, and stumbled upon public health when things weren't looking too great... i must say that it's the best mistake to happen to me so far! :rolleyes:
i'm at the university of michigan school of public health, getting an MPH in health management and policy. there are handful of people in my class who are thinking of med school, and a few second years who are on their way this fall. the second years said that they felt an MPH really boosted their applications, so i'm feeling optimistic.
any way you look at it, i think public health will only strengthen an application. many doctors are now taking time off to get the degree, and as DW says, the field is gaining more attention from the general public. plus, you get a chance to stay in within healthcare, learn about the system, and raise your GPA.

:clap: :clap:
 
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I'm epi MPH at the University of Minnesota. Epi at the U of MN is by far the most rigorous major, and the division upon which the School of Public Health is built. But maybe I'm biased ;)

I'm not particularly interested in preventive medicine, but the idea of prevention is now very important to me. After taking a class on smoking cessation and working on the nicotine vaccine, I'm very interested in doing addiction medicine or at least look into smoking cessation work.

Somehow I found my way back into basic science research...hopefully med schools will appreciate this.

Just out of curiousity - are your PubHealth GPAs relatively high? It seems there are many people in my program with GPAs >3.6 (one premed epi MPH in my program has 3.95) which leads me to believe that there may be some grade inflation which will make my 3.67 PubH GPA look rather mediocre. Hopefully my 3.9 BCPM will help...thank God for biostats.

Speaking of which - how did you guys and gals categorize your PubH classes? I put biostats as "math," some epi classes (Epi ID and our pathology class) as "biology" and many epi classes as "allied health professions".
 

blkdawn

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I just graduated in May with my MSPH in Epi from the University of South Florida. I can't believe some of you put Biostats as a math class - I could kick myself for not doing the same.

A lot of my classmates were previous pre-meds who went the public health route. There's only about a dozen of us who are trying to get in for 2003.

IMHO, Epi is definitely the most rigorous course load offered at our college and I agree that the degree couldn't hurt.
 

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Originally posted by Adcadet

Just out of curiousity - are your PubHealth GPAs relatively high? It seems there are many people in my program with GPAs >3.6 (one premed epi MPH in my program has 3.95) which leads me to believe that there may be some grade inflation which will make my 3.67 PubH GPA look rather mediocre. Hopefully my 3.9 BCPM will help...thank God for biostats.

Speaking of which - how did you guys and gals categorize your PubH classes? I put biostats as "math," some epi classes (Epi ID and our pathology class) as "biology" and many epi classes as "allied health professions".
Well, with public health programs, I think its really hard to standardize GPAs with the great diversity in the classroom. You have some people with full time research jobs, some people who are straight out of college, some people who are medical residents, etc, so as long as you GPA is solid and you're getting some tangible experience, I think you're good.

I only put my biostats in my science GPA. I toyed around with putting some of the epi stuff under math or something, but decided against it. Thats just me.
 

poloace

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ladies and gents-
i too am obtaining my MPH (columbia university). to my knowledge, the degree doesn't factor into your undergraduate GPA (which makes sense as it is graduate coursework). right now i am pursuing a concentrartion in epi- though i considered health policy and management. i think one thing we need to keep in mind if and when we are offered the opportunity to present why we chose an MPH is to really make sure that we don't come off as using the MPH as a 'stepping stone.' med school ad-coms hate this. i think if you can justify that you were doing the MPH in order to become a "better physician" of sorts, that will work toward your advantage. its true that the average entering age of med school students is 24- so, if you pursue this degree right after undergrad- that's about how old you should be. the nice thing about this is that it shows ad-coms that you have interests outside of medicine... but not too distant- that you'd like to somehow meld together. i also believe that epi is the most likely MPH degree to facilitate this connection. good luck ----
p
 

lola

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i got an ms in epi from the harvard school of public health a couple of years ago -- before i decided to apply to med school. at the time i just wasn't certain that medicine was for me, while i was certain of my strong interest in public health. after working behind a computer doing statistics for the last few years, i'm definitely ready for a career with a little more human interaction!

as for grades... yes, i do think graduate grades will help to a small extent. however, i feel that the degree helps more than the actual grades, since there is rampant grade inflation in most graduate programs. i ended up with a 3.9 in grad school. ha! although i did well in undergrad, it would have been almost impossible to get a 3.9.

i put my biostats and 2 calculation intensive epi courses as bcpm. now that i think about it, it actually lowered my bcpm gpa since the only real science class i took was a physiology course that i got an a in. not that it matters, i don't think adcoms care if you got a 3.95 or 4.0!
 

poloace

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i agree with lola. here's what i found out about grad school. unlike undergrad, they're no longer making sure that you know ALL of the material to do well. rather, they give you a lot of information, and it requires you to be mature enough to want to learn all of it. however, you can do really well understanding NOTHING more than the basics... it has been somewhat a let down in my opinion. i stopped going to class about 2 months ago to just stay up late watching basketball or just going out in nyc. i feel bad though... and i hope to get back into the groove when i return in early sept. - but its just a joke sometimes. i don't know... there are a lot of worriers in my classes who study non-stop... but, i don't know if that is beacuse they are mature and want to learn... or if they're still used to undergrad where if you didn't study, you didn't do well. does anyone else have this phenomenon going on at their MPH? ---
p
 

kathleeya

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i agree that it's dangerous to present an MPH as a mere stepping stone to medical school... but i certainly don't see anything wrong with considering it after trying to get into medical school.

being in health management and policy, it's easy for me to say that i've gained a great deal of information and skill to manuever myself within the healthcare system as a physician - i've learned a lot of about the financing of healthcare and the way doctors are viewed by others in the field.

grad school has been a lot "easier" in some senses - the subject matter is more practical and less abstract, and the competition that existed in college is practically nonexistent. but then again, i'm in management and policy whereas a lot of you epi people are still in the harder sciences. i'm sure that med schools consider the possibility of grade inflation... but that hasn't stopped anyone from my program from getting in! :p
 

Dr/\/\om

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Originally posted by kathleeya
being in health management and policy, it's easy for me to say that i've gained a great deal of information and skill to manuever myself within the healthcare system as a physician - i've learned a lot of about the financing of healthcare and the way doctors are viewed by others in the field.
This is almost exactly how I promoted the benefits of my MPH during my med school interview (and it really was why I did the MPH). Seemed to go over well.
 

DW

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Originally posted by poloace
ladies and gents-
i think one thing we need to keep in mind if and when we are offered the opportunity to present why we chose an MPH is to really make sure that we don't come off as using the MPH as a 'stepping stone.' med school ad-coms hate this.
totally agreed. In my case, I started my degree while working in an respiratory disease surveillance/prevention group for a little after undergrad, got to do some cool lab stuff and some statistical analysis, and really didn't even think I'd ever apply to medical school. Its actually been my experience in public health that has made me all the more interested in combining community based risk assessment with clinical practice.
 

poloace

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the idea of doing research while practicing medicine was the focus of my personal statement. i think if you can show that your love for medicine was sparked in large part by your time doing a degree- you should be set. for me, was unsure as to whether i wanted to do clinical based or research based medicine... untili i found out you can basically do whatever you want. now i just want to do epi while being a practicing clinician.

peter
 
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