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Old 03-21-2019, 12:27 PM
 
2,273 posts, read 1,557,690 times
Reputation: 2939

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You have a plan or had a plan to do MPH and go into Epidemiology. Why are you questioning that route? Is it the cost of grad school that is holding you back/ Are you worried you might not find a job after MPH? Talk to some MPH graduate? research best school and then go with your initial plan.


You could spent a year working in a lab as a contract employee making very little money and hating the field all together because you already said yourself that you don't like lab work. So don't waste that time. If you do want to buy some time, then see if you can find internship or even fun internship in hospital related field or even do a study abroad to expand your horizon and have some fun. But stick to your original plan. Go into health care field and go into field you are somewhat interested in. Instead of spending time re-inventing yourself, spend time reaching out to people in epidemiology department, reach out to MPH in your local hospital or university recent graduate.


Network, talk, get to know
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Dayton, OH
600 posts, read 271,874 times
Reputation: 2602
My cousin's son graduated with a degree in biology. He had planned to apply to med school, but he decided in his junior year that treating sick people wasn't the career for him.

He landed a job in the pathology lab of a local hospital. After a couple of years, the physicians like him so well that they offered him a no-interest loan to go get his MS in pathology. They agreed to hold his job for him, and he actually came back to a better-paying job that he loves.

Not sure how common a situation like this is, but it goes to show you that things can't always be planned. I know you said you don't like lab work, but sometimes things just work out.

Good luck!

Last edited by OHNot4Me; 03-21-2019 at 01:28 PM..
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:21 PM
 
2,630 posts, read 1,932,559 times
Reputation: 4597
You won't go anywhere beyond waiting tables without at least a masters degree. And you have some great ideas that seem to fit your interests. Here are two time honored pathways for one of your ilk:

1) Apply to med school. It's important to note that a medical degree will open up zillions of opportunities - billions where you won't ever have to deal with patients! (OK, OK, I exaggerated, but just to make a point - a fact that most people you talk to won't be remotely aware of). Medical schools today actually have more openings then there are truly qualified applicants. That makes getting in easy. Med school is really quite easy - It's almost impossible to get thrown out - even if you tried. Take the MCAT (make sure you take a prep course first! Kaplan in my day, other courses today, I'm sure. Don't take it cold; MCAT scores are more important than your GPA). And then go from there. All the areas you mention are yours to work in, at whatever level you want, once you get that MD or DO degree. You're young, you're energetic as you'll ever be, and that degree will open more doors than you could ever imagine. I'm not kidding!

2) PA school. Look into the various PA programs. Some PA's (like a Pathology PA for example) never see a live patient.

3) Masters degree AT A MEDICAL SCHOOL in microbiology or other area, for multiple reasons: First off, a good ladder to an MD program should you ultimately decide.... There are other areas like Physiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Genetics, even bio statistics and I think Public Health. Pick one and do it. The opportunities will arise - sometimes seemingly out of nowhere as you progress through the program. Just make sure you look and dress smart at all times. No "C's" allowed! In a masters program at a med school, you're on show! Contact your nearest med school to find out about masters programs. Your biology degree and your fields of interest are just the things they look for.

Other things include: In a masters program get a teaching certificate, just in case. Get a job (of almost any type in the area you are contemplating; job opportunities get presented to those who are actually there and those jobs, no matter how trite at first, can lead to a lucrative fascinating career!) Connections, connections, connections. That's how it works.

This is not a time in your life to be shy, overly indecisive, or insecure! Go for it. You'll save yourself a lot of grief later on. At your age, nothing is better than a challenge! Just remember, school beyond undergrad is whole different thing. Way more exciting! Once you get into "the system" that I've described above, even switching to something else is easy if Plan A doesn't pan out.

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 03-21-2019 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:37 PM
 
134 posts, read 45,265 times
Reputation: 583
https://www.teachforamerica.org/


Go teach for a year or two on the Navajo Reservation while you figure out what to do. You might have a greater appreciation for what you have accomplished so far.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,089 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEngr View Post
My main areas were in biomedical engineering and some other more electronic product and medical device areas in the work I did (now retired), but I can honestly say I knew and worked with many who did biology then MPH, and got good or very good jobs they enjoyed afterwards. It is a real good one to have an interest in, a definite go for it. You won't regret it.
That's great to hear. This gives me hope. Is it a good idea to pursue an MPH even if I'm not 100% sold on the idea? This is probably what I'm most interested in out of any other field honestly, but I don't know why I don't feel fully invested in it. Maybe if I started taking those courses, I might become more interested. Is that normal to feel like that?
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:08 PM
 
2,630 posts, read 1,932,559 times
Reputation: 4597
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfletc15 View Post
That's great to hear. This gives me hope. Is it a good idea to pursue an MPH even if I'm not 100% sold on the idea? This is probably what I'm most interested in out of any other field honestly, but I don't know why I don't feel fully invested in it. Maybe if I started taking those courses, I might become more interested. Is that normal to feel like that?
MPH is a great area to go into. First off - it's a government job. Nobody'll care if your married or single, gay or straight, black or white, etc. The bennies are great and in your lifetime, you'll surely have money when you retire which is iffy for some people these days. Things are changing. There are no government employees living out of baskcarts! In addition, Public Health is a fascinating subject. Math and statistics are very involved in that and so are all the diseases and stuff, yet you never have to actually encounter someone with those diseases if you don't want to. Your microbiology interest plays in very well, as I'm sure you know.

Get an MPH but do, in the process, keep an eye out for an MD too. You can do both. You have lots of time. An MPH + MD and the world is yours and you'll never get your hands dirty.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:22 PM
 
528 posts, read 616,303 times
Reputation: 779
I have an undergraduate degree in the sciences and it was hell to try and get a career going. I was so dirt poor I had to sleep in my car for a year and work for free to get experience and scrap any income together to get food, etc.

Fast forward more than a decade after graduation and multiple companies pay me a full time salary to do work for th ed m.

But again, it was hell.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:26 PM
 
978 posts, read 297,496 times
Reputation: 2136
My son graduated in May 2018. He looked around for a professional position, but got stuck in minimum wage world. He's going to graduate school in September.

Quote:
but I don't know why I don't feel fully invested in it. Maybe if I started taking those courses, I might become more interested. Is that normal to feel like that?
Yes, this is normal. It might be overwhelming to face more education or think about student loan debt or disappointment in your limited options. If you want a professional job, you may have to go this route regardless of how invested you feel today.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:26 PM
 
2,052 posts, read 594,159 times
Reputation: 2905
Take those math/statistics skills and get into data science to make $$$$ in the meanwhile and figure out what you want to do.

Look for data science roles in healthcare or pharmaceutical companies.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Seattle
89 posts, read 25,586 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
You won't go anywhere beyond waiting tables without at least a masters degree. And you have some great ideas that seem to fit your interests. Here are two time honored pathways for one of your ilk:

1) Apply to med school. It's important to note that a medical degree will open up zillions of opportunities - billions where you won't ever have to deal with patients! (OK, OK, I exaggerated, but just to make a point - a fact that most people you talk to won't be remotely aware of). Medical schools today actually have more openings then there are truly qualified applicants. That makes getting in easy. Med school is really quite easy - It's almost impossible to get thrown out - even if you tried. Take the MCAT (make sure you take a prep course first! Kaplan in my day, other courses today, I'm sure. Don't take it cold; MCAT scores are more important than your GPA). And then go from there. All the areas you mention are yours to work in, at whatever level you want, once you get that MD or DO degree. You're young, you're energetic as you'll ever be, and that degree will open more doors than you could ever imagine. I'm not kidding!

2) PA school. Look into the various PA programs. Some PA's (like a Pathology PA for example) never see a live patient.

3) Masters degree AT A MEDICAL SCHOOL in microbiology or other area, for multiple reasons: First off, a good ladder to an MD program should you ultimately decide.... There are other areas like Physiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Genetics, even bio statistics and I think Public Health. Pick one and do it. The opportunities will arise - sometimes seemingly out of nowhere as you progress through the program. Just make sure you look and dress smart at all times. No "C's" allowed! In a masters program at a med school, you're on show! Contact your nearest med school to find out about masters programs. Your biology degree and your fields of interest are just the things they look for.
u wot m8

Most bio/life science majors who go down paths 1 and 2 already have an established career interest in medicine and healthcare from when they start undergrad, if not earlier. Just because you're interested in bio and life science doesn't necessarily mean this is a good career path for you.

Not trying to discourage readers from randomly deciding to go into medicine and healthcare midway through their college career btw. I just want to emphasize that the cognitive demands and work schedule of healthcare fields isn't for everyone.

From what I've heard and observed from shadowing healthcare professionals in college, there's a ton of overlap in terms of what PAs and MDs do, particularly in rural settings and in specialties with acute MD shortages. The main difference is PAs can't make certain prescriptions or diagnoses.
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