Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back and forth!!!!

I couldn't think of a title for my post today so I settled on this symbol of back and forth. For the record no, I don't see myself in this mode of thinking between PhD or MD, going on forever. But can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since my last entry. So much is going on, I don't know where to begin!!

I'll start with school stuff. I have an exam in Molec. Physio tomorrow that I'm definitely ready for and a paper due on Wednesday. Since I'm preparing for a 12 hours drive to southern Georgia on either Tues or Weds at 3 AM, I decided to turn my paper in on Monday or Tuesday. And in my typical two for one fashion, I decided to pick a topic that's relevant for both my job and school, as in the paper I have due. The topic deals with an infectious agent that has potential use as a biological weapon so I can't go into many details, but I'm certainly enjoying reading journals articles and thinking of a hypothesis to test. As it stands, I'm the first in my group to start their own project which if things go well, I'll get to present next Fall at a national meeting (OK, that's REALLY a stretch!!). Anyhoo, to say I'm excited about it is an understatement!! :)

Speaking of research, I attended a dissertation defense last week, and after hearing him talk about everything he went through to get to that point, I was simply reminded of how much I really am NOT interested in doing a PhD. Sure I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, research but I always end up coming to the conclusion that if I gotta deal with being stressed the hell out, I may as well deal with it in something I'm really passionate about and motivated to do like medical school. Because it occurred to me yet again, that NONE of my career options are going to be easy, not a single one. Sure, it'll be great to pull a six figure income while completing a PhD but because of the demands of both, I'm still gonna be tired all the time. Which means I may as well be tired all the time in medical school.

Jobwise, this is a very exciting time since I, along with my supervisor, are responsible for building a new division at the University where I currently work. Of course, there's a tremendous amount of pressure involved with it and there's so much I'm learning and have to know, but still it's very exciting for me and I've grown so much professionally. In a way in my position as Director, is kinda similar to newly minted MD's, when someone asks for the Doctor and you, the Doctor, look around to see who they're talking about, LOL!!! And because I'm the youngest one of the 4 of us, I feel a little more pressure to be on point with my work related duties.

Movin' on, I met with my academic advisers again last week who by now probably think I'm schizophrenic LOL, and told them that I'm just not "feeling" finishing a PhD like I am med school. The thing is that I've gone back and forth so much that it's all about actions now. Once I get through this semester, I'll be free and clear to focus on studying for the MCAT and STILL plan to sit for the exam no later than May of next year. In the meantime, I'll continue in my current gig for the next at least 2 years, saving as much as I can, doing great work, and hopefully publishing in the near future. With my classes for my degree out of the way, I'll have the opportunity to do more volunteer work beyond my advisory committee duties beginning next Spring. But of course, I'll still be taking at least one class a semester in Bioterrorism just to "stay in the know" and to finish my certificate. However, the pressure of being in a degree program will be essentially OFF!!! Yeah!!!!

Now usually, I'm never one to "rush time" but I have to tell you, January 2010 can't come quickly enough for me!!! I'm just ready to write up my thesis, finish my degree, then get back on this MD or bust bandwagon feeling so much better with the idea now that I have a more reasonable timeline given the complexities of my everyday life!!! :)

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