Jun 7, 2020
2
0
Status
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello everyone! Let me preface this by saying I was unsure which forum I should post this in, be it the OT or MPH forum. I have cross posted in both the OT and MPH forums, but my understanding of both jobs is that they can differ widely outside of Canada. I am a student with the ultimate goal of becoming an MD, but have considered both of these programs as fallback in the event that my plans to study medicine do not come to fruition.

I have held year long positions with philanthropies that deal with health promotion and data analysis of marginalized populations. Volunteering involves teaching, therapeutic activities for patients, etc. So while I do not have direct experience with either career, I have skills that I believe would translate well to either degree. I could discuss my educational background and GPA should anyone feel they are relevant.

I currently have an offer for a MPH with an epi specialization that comes with a rather large stipend, and an offer for OT without funding. I am attracted to the MPH, but specifically epi, due to my love and experience with large data sets. I am attracted to OT because I value the clinical nature of the position and the patient interaction. Both degrees cost a similar amount and offer careers with similar starting salaries and levels of growth from what I can tell. I have had conversations with two OT and am yet to have my call returned from an epidemiologist or someone with a MPH. That being said, I do know individuals that have graduated from a MPH, albeit in health promotion, and they are underemployed and not working in their field.

My largest concerns with MPH is it seems that you need to already be gainfully employed by a healthcare agency to get the most out of the degree. Second, while I do have a background in stats, I do struggle to learn math. That is, that the degree is to supplement your existing role and provides a designation. I'm not even quite sure I could work as an epidemiologist with a MPH in epi instead of a research based MSc. While public health is attractive, I would not want to work in health promotion if it means my job revolves around promoting basic information (don't reuse needles, wash your hands, etc.). Moreover, I have heard second hand that there tend to be a lack of research opportunities in public health.

My concerns with OT are regarding job growth and employment opportunities upon graduation. Second, being honest with myself I am not the strongest in anatomy and physiology. I understand their may be a growing demand for MPH grads given the current climate, but I'm unsure that will be the case in two years upon graduating. Within OT, I would like to work in mental health and I imagine with the aging population, more opportunities will arise. I enjoy the option to practice privately in OT, and I'm unsure whether the same option exists with a MPH.

Regarding costs, the OT degree would cost me more in the long run. The city has a higher cost of living, I would have to pay double rent on placements, and I do not have a stipend or any scholarships to date. The MPH city has a lower cost of living, and I am offered a stipend that will essentially cover my rent for the year in exchange for working 10 hours a week. Placements in both degrees are not paid. I understand that if I ever get into an MD program, it will be even more expensive, but as it currently stands I am very heavily leveraged by debt.

My decision deadline is this Saturday, so any input would be greatly appreciated.
 
Aug 15, 2019
7
1
Hey! I am currently an OT student and my plan after OT school is to get an MPH since in the US theres various online programs for an MPH. Theres actually an MPH track dedicated towards clinicians and it is quite affordable. I honestly can’t tell you what to do, but, if you’re planning on going to medical school or if it falls through, I think OT would be better solely because you would have more likely an easier time to find a job because of its a diverse field. With an OT and MPH degree, you can maintain a position as rehab manager, rehab director, or just any management role. You can work in a variety of fields and if you eventually do make a transition to an MD, I think having clinical experience would serve in your favor. I know in the US there are dual programs where you can get an MPH and go to medical school at the same time. I do think an MPH is a great career but you definitely need to have connections to work at a good place and I know usually people seek a higher degree in public health for better job security and benefits. I hope this helps.
 
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Reactions: 1 user
Jun 7, 2020
2
0
Status
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)

This does help a lot! I had never actually thought about pursuing both, and had their been a concurrent option, I would pursue both. Please let me know how your studies pan out.

I've noticed that there seem to be more options to transition to middle management or private care in OT, but with a MPH it seems you're more limited to crown agencies and sectors that deal with public health statistics. However, I'm wondering how much the principals of statistics would translate outside of the epi based MPH degree to something to like big data or bioinformatics. I've been calling health units to try and speak with someone that has a similar background, but to date, my calls have gone unanswered. Currently, I'm leaning towards OT because I value the clinical interaction that I have been exposed to through volunteering with the most.
 
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Jan 7, 2020
16
18
I have a question.. I've been accepted to BU's MPH program (I love the program) I'm just worried I won't get a good job after I graduate. Any advice?
 
Nov 8, 2016
29
13
Status
  1. Occupational Therapy Student
Hey! I am currently an OT student and my plan after OT school is to get an MPH since in the US theres various online programs for an MPH. Theres actually an MPH track dedicated towards clinicians and it is quite affordable. I honestly can’t tell you what to do, but, if you’re planning on going to medical school or if it falls through, I think OT would be better solely because you would have more likely an easier time to find a job because of its a diverse field. With an OT and MPH degree, you can maintain a position as rehab manager, rehab director, or just any management role. You can work in a variety of fields and if you eventually do make a transition to an MD, I think having clinical experience would serve in your favor. I know in the US there are dual programs where you can get an MPH and go to medical school at the same time. I do think an MPH is a great career but you definitely need to have connections to work at a good place and I know usually people seek a higher degree in public health for better job security and benefits. I hope this helps.

Hi there! I am also interested in pursuing an MPH degree after I graduate. Can you link me to the affordable MPH track dedicated for clinicians that you mentioned? I don't graduate until 2022, but I'm hoping to plan ahead right now. Thank you! :)
 
Aug 15, 2019
7
1
I have a question.. I've been accepted to BU's MPH program (I love the program) I'm just worried I won't get a good job after I graduate. Any advice?
Hey, I think you should post this on the Public Health Page. I am no expert, I just know usually people with doctorates find better jobs because it’s usually with research or they have a special concentration in something. Not saying with an MPH you can’t, I just know people struggle a bit more. Good luck
 
Aug 15, 2019
7
1
Hi there! I am also interested in pursuing an MPH degree after I graduate. Can you link me to the affordable MPH track dedicated for clinicians that you mentioned? I don't graduate until 2022, but I'm hoping to plan ahead right now. Thank you! :)
Hey, I just googled MPH degrees in my state (Florida) and most of them happen to have an online option or in person option. Maybe your state has the same. Hope this helps.
 

brw2013

5+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2014
10
1
Status
  1. Occupational Therapist
Hello everyone! Let me preface this by saying I was unsure which forum I should post this in, be it the OT or MPH forum. I have cross posted in both the OT and MPH forums, but my understanding of both jobs is that they can differ widely outside of Canada. I am a student with the ultimate goal of becoming an MD, but have considered both of these programs as fallback in the event that my plans to study medicine do not come to fruition.

I have held year long positions with philanthropies that deal with health promotion and data analysis of marginalized populations. Volunteering involves teaching, therapeutic activities for patients, etc. So while I do not have direct experience with either career, I have skills that I believe would translate well to either degree. I could discuss my educational background and GPA should anyone feel they are relevant.

I currently have an offer for a MPH with an epi specialization that comes with a rather large stipend, and an offer for OT without funding. I am attracted to the MPH, but specifically epi, due to my love and experience with large data sets. I am attracted to OT because I value the clinical nature of the position and the patient interaction. Both degrees cost a similar amount and offer careers with similar starting salaries and levels of growth from what I can tell. I have had conversations with two OT and am yet to have my call returned from an epidemiologist or someone with a MPH. That being said, I do know individuals that have graduated from a MPH, albeit in health promotion, and they are underemployed and not working in their field.

My largest concerns with MPH is it seems that you need to already be gainfully employed by a healthcare agency to get the most out of the degree. Second, while I do have a background in stats, I do struggle to learn math. That is, that the degree is to supplement your existing role and provides a designation. I'm not even quite sure I could work as an epidemiologist with a MPH in epi instead of a research based MSc. While public health is attractive, I would not want to work in health promotion if it means my job revolves around promoting basic information (don't reuse needles, wash your hands, etc.). Moreover, I have heard second hand that there tend to be a lack of research opportunities in public health.

My concerns with OT are regarding job growth and employment opportunities upon graduation. Second, being honest with myself I am not the strongest in anatomy and physiology. I understand their may be a growing demand for MPH grads given the current climate, but I'm unsure that will be the case in two years upon graduating. Within OT, I would like to work in mental health and I imagine with the aging population, more opportunities will arise. I enjoy the option to practice privately in OT, and I'm unsure whether the same option exists with a MPH.

Regarding costs, the OT degree would cost me more in the long run. The city has a higher cost of living, I would have to pay double rent on placements, and I do not have a stipend or any scholarships to date. The MPH city has a lower cost of living, and I am offered a stipend that will essentially cover my rent for the year in exchange for working 10 hours a week. Placements in both degrees are not paid. I understand that if I ever get into an MD program, it will be even more expensive, but as it currently stands I am very heavily leveraged by debt.

My decision deadline is this Saturday, so any input would be greatly appreciated.


It looks like you're already past the deadline for your decision but I'd be happy to answer any questions you have regarding either degree! I completed a dual degree program and received both my MSOT and MPH.
 

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