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taking the master's route


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I want to do masters after undergrad, but does it look bad if you apply to med schools mid-masters and get in, and then leave ur MSc, to go to medschool?

 

Or do medical schools not even consider applicants who are in the middle of their masters? what are my chances, basically?

 

I want to do masters, but more so as an option to not do a 5th year- but I am not to keen on the 2-3 years it may take to complete a masters.

 

thanks.

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the GPA is fairly low and I will do my 'cats again in summer of '08. I really want to do a masters in public policy or Health studies but they are always in the 24-36 month range.

 

Do you guys know of any that are the one year programs?

 

And the only school in Canada that I would apply to for med is UofT- I am more interested in American schools.

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Some schools have a mechanism that would make you ineligible to apply before a certain time into your grad degree. Since MScs in basic science departments (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology etc) typically take only 2 years (barring significant problems or the student behaving like a dumbass), applying to meds halfway through is about par for the course anyway. You could explore (read: roll the dice) with schools that have a history of granting deferrals to grad student applicants (eg, Queen's). I've personally known grad students to bust their backsides to finish off the MSc in 18 months to get to meds. Be upfront with your supervisor and you'll quite possibly get all kinds of support. Does look bad to apply early? Not sure, but I don't participate in adcomms.

 

I would highly recommend AGAINST enrolling into MSc as a route to get into meds unless you a) have a killer undergrad record that will, by itself, make you competitive; and/or B) intend to work your face off as a grad student. If your undergrad is NOT highly competitive where it counts, hanging your backside out to no avail for 2 years is more likely to be an impediment. Don't float, work hard, make some solid relationships (these people can possibly write great LORs), improve your Extracurrics, volunteer activities, teaching (frequent possibility as a grad student), present some work at a meeting or 2, and for the love of Pete Sampras, PUBLISH IF YOU CAN. Don't look at it as a 5th year, if you're the type of applicant who needs to bolster your record. Look at it as an investment of 2 years of doing all the hard work you didn't do/weren't able to do/weren't interested or motivated enough to do as an undergrad. To be clear, you would most likely be applying in the fall of your second year as an MSc student. Depending on when you register (summer or fall) as a grad student that is a little less than 1 1/2 calendar years (MAX) to improve yourself.

 

MAYBE there are some course-based MSc programs that are shorter, but I really don't know.

k

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kahone, that was incredibly insightful. thank you so very much for that, and yes, there has been a lot of (late) soul-searching in my past year, and the conclusion of it all is that I made up my mind on med a bit too late. a 5th year, in my eyes, won't really get me the kind of "learning" i want- pretty much what the past 3 years have been, you just coast, you really learn nothing at your undergrad at UofT, and when I graduate, I don't want to return to that. Therefore, I decided to do the Masters thing, where it'll be a research project that I would want to do, and would be interested in doing. The only bad side is the duration, 2-3 years is asking for a long if you add the 4-7 I will have invest for the M.D + rez? Not to mention the bucketloads of $$ I will be owing to the world.

 

I just need to work on the GPA and the Mcats- other than, that I have some very good credentials.

 

 

Does anyone know more about these course-based Msc programs, I can't seem to find any. Maybe you have to contact a certain prof personally?

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There are many, many 1-year course based programs, you just have to know which area interests you. As an example, Calgary has a Master's in Biomedical Technology which takes 1 year. I don't believe there are MPH programs in Canada, but Harvard's MPH program is only 1 year (you may need a professional degree first, though).

 

If you want a 1-year Masters with a research project, consider looking abroad - ie. Europe, Britain, where they typically have shorter MSc, although realize nothing is ever guaranteed when doing a research project.

 

There are many old threads about 1-year Master programs.

 

Here is one such thread: http://www.premed101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294

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I don't believe there are MPH programs in Canada, but Harvard's MPH program is only 1 year (you may need a professional degree first, though).

 

When I was looking a couple of years ago, Lakehead University had a one year Masters in Public Health, which could be either thesis or course-based.

 

Elaine

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