Sep 24, 2017
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I want to do the Peace Corps and an MPH before med school, will this help or hurt my chances?

I know that's a four year (at least) gap between my undergrad coursework (and all my pre-med classes) and med school + the MCAT scores only last 3 years. However the peace corps -> MPH -> MD track is what I want to do (I know you can do an MD/MPH or a residency that gives you an MPH but from what I've seen the options for MPH concentration are much more limited that way).
 
OP
P
Sep 24, 2017
14
14
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Why would you join the peace corps for med school?
Do it because you love it and want to help other people...
I did a month service learning trip in Vietnam working with children effected by HIV/AIDS, I loved it but didn't feel like I did enough. So that's a big motivation for going back abroad. Also, I've a lot of humanitarian-related work but always stateside. Finally, I really enjoy learning about other cultures (I'm a med anthro minor) so the Peace Corps is also going to be an immersive learning experience.
 
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Dox4lyfe

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"Might" help your chances. Don't see why it would hurt your chances unless it ends up disrupting your mcat studying and causes you to do poorly on that. Just be sure you actually really want to do it. Otherwise, you're just delaying med school and residency for no good reason.

Don't do it if your primary concern is whether it'll hurt or help your med school chances. That tells us that you don't have a good enough reason to want to do in the first place.
 

Flashfan

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A few schools really like Peace Corp. Tulane is one that comes to mind. The key will be finding time to study for MCAT and going seamlessly from Peace Corp to MPH. You can apply to med school while in the MPH program, of you really don't want to do it during med school.
 

Gurby

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Anecdotally, a friend of mine did Peace Corps -> MPH -> HMS.
 

gonnif

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A few thoughts
1) The peace corps will be an great asset but as has been said before, do it because you want to
2) MPH is less of an asset per se, but if it follows the peace corps, it builds on your service/global health background
3) Assume you will have to take the MCAT after you are done with Peace Corps
4) Assume that you can apply until after your are completed and home from peace corps
5) Some schools or adcoms may question why you are applying while in an MPH as perhaps not having a clear committed path to MD
6) You will have to complete the MPH before matriculating into MD
 

Planes2Doc

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It's a really serious commitment. This isn't like volunteering at a local hospital or homeless shelter where you can pretty much come and go as you please. I know people that are doing it because they are passionate about it. The one guy I know is in Morocco. It's not comfy accommodations either.
 

LizzyM

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There are some MPH programs that have 1 year of classroom work followed by the 27 months of Peace Corps service where the Peace Corps service counts toward the degree which is awarded after completion of the Peace Corps commitment.

Correction: Peace Corps/MPH program has been ended.

See the Program Finder at www.aspph.org to identify the schools that might meet your needs.
 
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OP
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Sep 24, 2017
14
14
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Other Health Professions Student
"Might" help your chances. Don't see why it would hurt your chances unless it ends up disrupting your mcat studying and causes you to do poorly on that. Just be sure you actually really want to do it. Otherwise, you're just delaying med school and residency for no good reason.

Don't do it if your primary concern is whether it'll hurt or help your med school chances. That tells us that you don't have a good enough reason to want to do in the first place.
My primary concern isn't medical school admissions for Peace Corps/MPH, I want to do those independently. However, I also acknowledge that I might have to do some things differently/additionally bc this is a non-traditional pathway.
 

TMC07

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There are some MPH programs that have 1 year of classroom work followed by the 27 months of Peace Corps service where the Peace Corps service counts toward the degree which is awarded after completion of the Peace Corps commitment.

See the Program Finder at www.aspph.org to identify the schools that offer the Peace Corps Program.
@LizzyM Last year Peace Corps ended the Master's International Program you are referring to, so OP would have to do PC and an MPH independently as he was not already accepted into the program before it ended.

Master's International
 

LizzyM

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@LizzyM Last year Peace Corps ended the Master's International Program you are referring to, so OP would have to do PC and an MPH independently as he was not already accepted into the program before it ended.

Master's International
Good to know. I do think that doing the MPH first and then Peace Corps and then med school application would be the right order of things for OP.
 
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