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comment by c_hawkthorne
c_hawkthorne  ·  140 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 16, 2020

So a week or so ago my plan was to go buy a GRE study book and start studying, take them once or twice, and be ready to apply for schools in a year for a Fall 2022 start. But then I talked with a friend of mine to get some GRE book recommendations, and he accurately pointed out that a lot of schools have waived the GRE for this year. So I'm still going to study for the GREs and all, but I'm also going to yolo a few applications in without GRE scores for Fall 2021 and see if anything sticks. I'll have less saved up, likely be taking on more debt as a result, have to quit my job mid-pandemic and when leaving grad school be going into a public health workforce oversaturated from a bunch of either (a) unemployed now Masters' educated people who decided to use the pandemic to get a degree, and/or (b) a bunch of unemployed people from all the Covid grants running out (I know mine is two years and ends Nov 2022).

So wise hubski people, give me different and new perspectives on why this is a good/bad idea. Working remote is almost certainly not possible with my current job, and I have no interest in staying around here anyway so grad school is an excuse to move away to somewhere new.

b_b  ·  140 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It is a mystery to me why the GRE is a thing. It tests basic but general knowledge. If I were evaluating a potential grad entrant, I don't think I could glean anything from a good score, although I guess I may be able to glean something from a bad score.

GRE notwithstanding, I think public health is only going to be a growth area. You should find a place that is in need of grad students, then you can probably get a research or teaching job and scrape by on a stipend but at least no debt. It will be well worth the effort of looking even if you come up empty.

c_hawkthorne  ·  140 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Public health won't be a growth area without massive changes to our healthcare system. Right now Capitalism benefits short-term profit and reactionary responses to disease rather than proactive prevention because there is more more money in charging someone to fix their a leak 100 times just enough so that it can break again, than seeking a long-term solution just as there's more money in giving out antibiotics and charging instead of waiting to see if they're at all necessary gets more money even if from a public health standpoint that's horrendous. As soon as they don't have to be spending a lot on public health, they'll cut it. I can hear it already, "we just had a pandemic what are the odds we have another one soon? Everyone is prepared for it this time around" and bullshit like that. Public health is chronically underfunded and this pandemic exposed that beautifully but I doubt anything will change in the long-run. In the long-run, everyone is dead, so why invest in it?

b_b  ·  140 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's not always about investment. The question is rather, who benefits from advances in public health? The answer is insurers. The biggest insurer in the country by far is the federal government. They're going to want to learn and apply lessons for many years to come from this catastrophe. I suspect that NIH will ramp up public health funding, and other large insurers might spend some money on it too. I would go for the PhD of I were you. Don't stop at an MPH. You're smart enough, dedicated enough, so why not just go the whole way?

c_hawkthorne  ·  139 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's a real chance I go for a PhD down the line, but I want more experience as those tend to be hyper-specialized. I'd be looking at infectious disease and infection prevention, but specialization with that. Probably novel/necglected or something like that, but that's a future me problem. Taking my life one week at a time at this point.