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UCLA or Johns Hopkins?

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by Cster0905, May 12, 2008.

  1. Cster0905

    Cster0905 7+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    I thought I had made my decision but now I'm not sure and would like some feedback before accepting my financial aid at Hopkins later this week.

    In short, I plan to apply to medical school post-MHS/MPH and I need to take several science courses in conjunction with my Masters work to be able to apply before I'm 50.

    Hopkins has several science-based courses (immunology, molecular bio, etc) in the SPH that I could take each quarter that would apply directly to my BCPM GPA that med schools look at. For those of you who would know, do you think it would be feasible to do this at Hopkins -- that is take extra sciences courses in my 11-month class framework?

    I love UCLA because it would be a great change for me; the west coast, a top 10 program that has great access to the population I'd like to work with: Latinos. UCLA follows the traditional two-year format and it's practicum is MUCH shorter than Hopkins' (as in, summer vs. 6 months). UCLA has tons of sciences courses and a great med school to boot. I would have to contend with what I've heard to be a very cut-throat pre-med culture and enrolling in classes outside of the SPH.

    My hesitation is, do I risk not going to Hopkins - a school I like aside from its curriculum's structure - and all the comes with that opportunity for the sake of taking classes? All that matters now (for med school) is consistent, solid performance in the science classes I need; a B at Hopkins will never look better than an A at UCLA. If med school doesn't work out, I could attend Hopkins for my PhD, when the name is going to mean more.

    Thoughts? Comments? Etc?
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  3. Senior007

    Senior007 2+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Hey Cster- Do you need to take a lot more of your pre-med requirements or are you looking just to boost your science gpa? i think it would be very difficult to take additional science classes outside of the sph at hopkins. From my understanding, they condense the usual 2-yr mhs/mph curriculum just down to 11 months. It is very intense- and it seems like you won't have much time to study for your organic chemistry test.

    If you are looking to boost your science gpa, then i would look into post-bacc programs that specifically will get you into med. school. I know that taking sph "science" courses won't boost your undergrad. science gpa in amcas.

    But at this point I think you already have made a solid decision and you are just second guessing yourself. Don't second guess yourself! Because your first instinct is probably the right one.
  4. 4Hisglory

    4Hisglory 4Hisglory 2+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2008

    For what it's worth, I'm a 3rd yr med student in Ohio, just got back board scores (90-99th percentile on both COMLEX and USMLE), and from the other side of the curtain, I'd like to share that post-graduate education is much more about your efforts than your institution. This means that regardless of where you go, your success will be due in large part to how much you apply yourself. No school can do it for you.

    To balance that statement, it is important to recognize that certain names (Hopkins) carry more weight. This seems to be more important if you are looking to go into policymaking/public life, which require connections.

    It sounds like your heart is in the right place- to serve people, rather than to seek prestige/$$. It is so easy to get caught up in the hamster-wheel of pride/fame/"professionalism," and forget what life is really about, and that people are always more important than things. I often need to be reminded of this fact, and my wife, family, and faith keep me in line.

    Follow your heart and do your best. The rest will work out.

    [as an aside- I'm considering Hopkins for residency although prior to this point I've chosen smaller name schools to attend- where I found my wife, grew in my faith, and made the best friends of my life. I wouldn't change any of the decisions I've made, and I don't think you will either.]

    "It has never been our right to become a physician; rather it is a
    privilege that has been bestowed upon us." -Amanda McConnell, DO, neurology

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