Do advanced degrees help?

The Question:

“Does having additional academic degrees improve your chances of residency if your usmle scores are so-so?

For example a lot of students get an MPH, or a masters to help them get into medical school. do these degrees carry over into residency selection?


Extra degrees are a VERY GOOD way of getting around a mediocre step 2 score. They are measurable, reporducible and have clear value. It is not like ‘research’ that does not result in a publication. AN MPH or MBA willhelp, and if you do not get what you want right away it  will increase marketability.


One Response to “Do advanced degrees help?”

  1. Grace Bhatti Says:

    Hi Dr. Conrad,

    I’m an IMG and in the middle of applying to programs for 2010 match. I graduated in 2004 and have a low step 1 score with 2 attempts, however step 2 and CS were passed on the first attempt. I have previous clinical experience in Pakistan and also did a year of house job training. I do not have any US clinical experience except for a 2 month observership. It is really hard to get hands-on experience in a US setting for that matter.
    So far I have received negative response form programs and it worries me if I can even get a single interview call.

    I would like your advice as to what options do I have for the next year in case I do not get into residency? Some say I should do MPH. I have also been advised to do post doctoral fellowship which honestly, I don’t know much about.

    Can you please be kind enough to give some giudeline in this matter?


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