SDNers - I need your advice!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by voyager, Oct 12, 2002.

  1. voyager

    voyager New Member

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    Many of you guys seem to be bright people, and I would appreciate your advice on this:

    I'm a Senior (bio major) planning to take a year off before applying to either allopathic or public health schools, since both programs interest me. My GPA and MCAT score are 3.7 (3.6 science) and 9v 12p 10b respectively. I know that some schools offer combined MD/MPH programs, but with my current stats, I know that I would have a hard time getting into a very top MD/MPH program in the US. Therefore, would you recommend that I apply straight to schools with combined MD/MPH programs, or apply first to a good MPH program (after taking the GRE), and then apply to a MD program? What are the pros and cons of the two routes? Do medical schools actually look more favorably upon students with masters degrees over those with undergrad degrees? Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks. :)
     
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  3. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
    Physician

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    Hi and welcome to SDN!! :clap:

    Honestly, I think you should do whatever feels best to you. I think your GPA and MCAT are fine to get you in at MD/MPH programs, but not necessarily "top-tier" schools. The combined degree is faster, but it's seriously up to you. You could, of course, do your darndest to get into Duke and spend your third year getting your MPH and still graduate in 4 years.

    I know this isn't the post you were looking for, but I don't think anyone on this board can point you in "the way". You need to consider what you want to do long-term, how much time and money you want to spend before you start actually working.

    Best of luck! :)
     
  4. voyager

    voyager New Member

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    Thx Sweet Tea :)

    Anyone else?
     
  5. voyager

    voyager New Member

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  6. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    well, i have taken 6 years off since graduating from college. during that time i got an ms in epidemiology. when i got it i was not planning on going back for an md but have since changed my mind.

    i think it really depends on what you want to do with the mph, and if you're interested in taking significant time off after college before getting an md. i am really glad i did as i got a bit of perspective while away from the intense premed world. my master's program was very laid back even though it was a top school. i had a lot of time to pursue outside interests, and i'm happy i did it this way rather than getting an md first, although if cost is a big factor for you i would not recommend this route.

    getting an mph before an md will usually take 2 years rather than 1 year if you already have an md. some programs may not be like this, but for the most part they are. this can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you want out of it. if you really want to learn a lot and are interested in doing something like biostats/epi, i think a 2 year program is necessary. i learned so much more in my 2 years than the md's learned in 1. we took the same classes the first year, but i took advanced classes the second year. if you're more interested in having the degree and doing something like health policy or international health, i'm not sure the extra year is all that valuable as i think it's easier to pick that stuff up in a work environment than it is to pick up survival analysis and logistic regression.

    i think some schools other than top schools offer md/mph, don't they? where you get your mph probably doesn't matter all that much unless you really want to do hard core research. the top schools are very research oriented. if you want to have more of a community emphasis, i would actually recommend not going to a top school or doing research on the top schools to find out where it is possible to have a community focus. i found it very difficult where i went to get off the research track.

    getting an mph will probably help you some in the admissions process, particularly since your stats are good and it doesn't look like you're just doing it to try to boost your application. what will help you more is the life experience you gain during the time off, and the kind of projects/extracurriculars you get involved in while getting an mph.

    the gre is not a big deal compared to the mcat. some programs let you use the mcat instead i think. i'm not exactly sure about that though.

    getting an mph while in medical school would, i'd imagine, be a nice break from the intensity of medical school. you also might have more of a focus by this point if you've become interested in a particular field of medicine while in med school.

    well, i hope i've answered your question. i would say the most important thing to consider would be wheter or not you want a biostats/epi focus. if you do, the two year program might be the way to go. if not, then there are definite advantages to getting your mph while in med school.

    good luck!
     
  7. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member

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    If you are interested in an MD/MPH, may I suggest that you apply to med school, and then after you start med school, arrange admission to an MPH program.

    At my med school, there are a few people who completed MPH degrees between 2nd and 3rd year of med school. And, I think that you will get favorable consideration from top MPH programs if you are already a medical student in good standing. The people in my class who did this went to top MPH programs and I think that they were funded (though I'm not really sure about that).

    Good luck!
     
  8. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile

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    i agree. as i've seen, it's common at some schools (tulane, for example) to apply for MPH after being accepted to the MD program. and as far as tulane is concerned, they have a really interesting MD/MPH prog (my opinion) w/lots of variety to the direction in which you can go for MPH (i.e. internat'l health, policy, env. health, etc.)
     

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