Degrees and advice

Posted July 20, 2011 from United States


I would like to ask you wonderful people for advice. I am at that stage where I am trying to figure out what I am doing with my life.

If I could make it to my dream career I would be living in Geneva, Switzerland and working as a healthcare system consultant for the W.H.O. I don't even know if anything like that exists, but that's what I want to do. I want to help develop a global healthcare system so that everyone has decent healthcare available to them.

Right now I have a Bachelor of Science in Global Health from the University of Washington and I'm planning the next phase. I am thinking that the next step is an MPH program (Masters in Public Health) with an emphasis in health systems and policy. I'm also considering an MPH/JD (Juris Doctorate) joint program. I think that I definitely want to do the the MPH and the JD, but until the last couple of weeks I've always wanted to go to Medical School. Since I want to get into health systems and policy I still think that the MD would be a good degree to have. But is this way too much, or am I just covering my bases? An MPH (hopefully a 1 year program or a joint MPH/JD), the JD, and an MD (possible without the residency, since I'm not sure yet if I want to be a practicing physician). This plan would be anywhere from 8 to 13 more years of schooling (during which I hope to still work at least a little- I need to make a living).

Is it too much? Is it covering my bases? I want to be the best in my field I want to go through all of the programs so that I know what I'm doing and can do it well. What do you think?


Office spreadsheet icon mph_programs.xls

Comments 2

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  • Ramu
    Jul 28, 2011
    Jul 28, 2011

    Dear Hericson

    You want become a health care system consultant. That means you enjoy consulting on health service management, health related project development and management and policy researches in the health related issues. Than, MPH will be relevant for you. I suggest you to go for MPH , do one two years of job experiences after MPH as continue study sometimes creates frustration and immaturity in the work field. You will get good payment in MPH as well.

    Secondly if you enjoy being a health technician, just living in a corner of organization delivering counseling services rather than being manager than you can go for MD. You will certainly make good money but may have very little public exposure and management skills, particularly in health sector management.

    The third point is it will be much easier and fun if link your Bachelors study with further education. What is the functional paper in your bachelor’s degree? In which subject you have obtained best grades/.Just get specialize in the subject with your best grades or on the functional paper. The difference between MPH and MD is that MPH is more related with specialization in health service facility management, health policy research and MD is specialization in consulting in a particular health diseases.

    Regards Ramu from Nepal

  • hericson
    Jul 28, 2011
    Jul 28, 2011

    Hello Ramu,

    Thanks so much for your input. I only know how things are in my tiny corner of the, and since I would like to work internationally at soempoint I really value your thoughts. I've uploaded an excel sheet with the schools and programs that I'm currently looking at. The ones that are highlihgted are my top 3 and I plan to start applying this september. I really don't want to have to take another test after the MCAT, so I had to limit the schools based on who takes the MCAT... so complicated. :)