Pros and Cons of Doing MPH Prior to Applying For Residency

Does MPH increase chances of getting residency Interviews?

MPH definitely helps increase the chance of getting residency interviews.

Here are some quick points which are for and against doing MPH prior to joining residency. Every program has its own requirements and deadlines for applications. You may check outSOPHAS for more details. It’s a centralized application system from CEPH accredited MPHprograms. Lot of programs need GRE and TOEFL as prerequisites to apply for MPH but some schools do not require GRE which you can find online and apply to them.

Pros:
You can use all the transferable skills that you acquired during your MPH like Leadership, research, data analysis, patience, courtesy, caring about others, typing skills if you learnt during MPH, teaching, time management, team work, familiarity with U.S. Education system/ learning etc.

You can get easy opportunity to do research and observership in the university in which you are doing MPH as frequently there are many professors who will be doing lot of clinical research and they usually prefer students from the same university.

You can also finish Step 2CS and Step 3 more peacefully as you have F1/student visa and you don’t have to worry about visitor visa just prior to the exam.

Getting a credit card: I got Citicard a few months into my MPH first semester and it helped me tremendously as I never had to think about cash. It was painful to pay back credit at the end of each month though.

Helps with Waiting period: Majority of the candidates these days apply for residency twice as it is not easy to match during the first time as either you did not finish all the steps or because you do not have many other components like research, observership, green card etc. So, doing MPH can give you chance to stay in US legally while preparing to apply for the second time. During this period, you can apply for driving license too that can help during interviews and later in residency.

You can become Graduate Assistant if you get good scores during your first semester and that decreases your tuition.  It is a teaching position and that experience helps later. You can also earn some money if you work in On-Campus jobs related to medical field or work in basic sciences labs.

Finally, you can make a career in alternative field if you can not get into residency. I know few of those who went into research, biostatistics, research analysis etc.

Cons:
It is costly. I had to spend around $30K to finish my MPH. Probably, you could do it for $10K if you already finished steps 1 and 2 prior to starting MPH.

It is time taking. If you are in your home country, you have to take GRE and TOEFL to come to America to do MPH. This takes several months. Doing actual course takes anywhere from 18 months to 2 years. Due to thus time, your year of graduation may be increasing.