Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hotter than hell, for real 'though

A second post at 6 in the morning, less than 24 hours after my last one is a pretty good indication that something, usually my work situation, is weighing heavily on my mind.

Right now, I'm thinking not about how my Supv went off the deep end in the most unprofessional of ways on me Thursday morning. And of the utterly pathetic conversation we had yesterday where he essentially apologized.

So in my convo yesterday, my Supv mentioned that my Director's boss mentioned that they thought I was very defensive, to which I immediately responded "here we go again". Now he didn't mention or in any way hint at who it was he was talking about, but I immediately knew (and at the time I was thinking why in the hell are you mentioning a situation that occurred almost 3 months ago?). I can't recall if I mentioned it in my blog, but at our poster day, I was approached by the woman (of course) and told by her that something I'd mentioned on my poster was incorrect. Now anyone who knows me and how I approach my science knows that I don't play the radio when it comes to my work, but especially something that's written in 32 point font for all the world to see. But I've also mastered the art of handling with kid gloves superiors who think I don't know what the hell I'm talking about when it comes to my work. Or so I thought. My response to her was that according to a paper published by such and such, not only is this protein produced in humans, it may be another ligand to a protein our company has targeted as a potential drug target. HER response was to be VERY defensive about how wrong I was and how she didn't care about the publication which came from a group known to be experts in the very protein we're targeting. Now having been around more people like this than I can count, I know better than to get into a knowledge contest with a person with a PhD (and a fragile ego). So I politely disagreed and she continued on her tirade. That said, what I'm NOT known for doing is backing down from a scientific position I've taken or agreeing to something I think is incorrect, especially when I have "pubs" to support my position (Of course, I would never be a big enough idiot to put myself out there otherwise).

Now there's NO DOUBT in my mind that this woman didn't expect me to be able to intelligently support my scientific position, especially since my role on my job is to support the work of other scientists, not know so many of the details of the projects I'm working on. And this turns out to be yet another HUGE disadvantage of working on a job where my education far exceeds my job description. So yeah, it's not lost on me that she expected me to "back down" from my position, but that's never gonna happen with me. If someone calls me out about my work, they should expect an intelligent response in return which is what she got. If she didn't expect someone on my "level" to defend their work which I thought was what people did on Poster day, then that's her insecure ass!!! And did I mention that I received the highest score in my section of our group, which she heads, on Poster day?

Another concern my Supv brought up at our meeting yesterday was about how "people" think I act uninterested in our lab meetings. Now I'm sure I gave him the "WTF are you talking about" look on my face with this one because now it's clear that I work around a bunch of mind readers, which is a skill I didn't know they had. So I asked him, in what way do "people" think I act uninterested to which he responded it's the look on your face. Look on my face? So what kinda look is that and he said, a look like I'm not interested in being there. (Does anyone now understand my frustration with working here now, LOL??). So I said lemme get this straight. When I get a LOT of work done and ask a lot of questions during meetings, I'm accused of "hogging" all the "uninteresting" work I do and trying to make my group look bad. When I slow down with the questions during our meetings yet still get alot of work done which is more than anyone else, I'm accused of "mean mugging" and being uninterested during meetings? So which one is it, because it can NOT be both. Either I'm uninterested in the work I bust my butt doing everyday or I'm not. So, after describing this situation to a couple of my mentors, they ALL tell me they think this guy is has "issues" with my knowledge base/work ethic, and my response and theirs is once again, GET YOUR ASS IN MED SCHOOL ASAP!!!!!

Now I have to say that 99.9% of my convo yesterday was very positive, with him praising me for the work I've done on this gig thus far (which he obviously forgot when he went off before). But when I think about all this other stuff that was said, all I can do is shake my head in absolute disgust and think, I guess you just had to say something negative. Anyhoo, my department in under a LOT of pressure(ie future layoffs?) for reasons which are crystal clear to me and relate to management "issues", so I understand my Supv's overall concern on one level. But given that all the immature nitpicking and complaining over essentially nothing that goes on in my research group, it's no wonder why their research portfolio is in somewhat of a $hit stool.

So all this has me rethinking my indecision about seriously considering clinical medicine. For example during intern year, suppose I have a pediatric patient which appears to me to be jaundiced, but the condition isn't caught by my superiors because jaundice "looks" VERY different in darker skinned people than in those with fair skin. And my Attending expects me to sign off on this kid being discharged. What would I do? Do first try to explain my position and if that deosn't work, report it to a higher up and risk getting "in trouble" with my immediate Supv? Or do I sign the paper and hope for the best? MY real question is, how many similar type situations play out in medicine everyday and how many lives are lost because of it? Maybe this is too simplistic a situation to consider, but it's certainly something to think about. BTW, what would YOU do? Of course, I'm NOT saying things like this don't happen in Path, but it just seems like the consequences of situations like this in Clinical medicine are far more serious.

PS- The "kid" with unrecognized jaundice was mine 15 years ago.


  1. My Sistah, first off......GO TO MED SCHOOL ASAP!!!!!.. You are obviously far more experienced than that position can accommodate. Some one as talented as you are, BOREDOM PROBABLY DOES SHOW ON YOUR FACE.....Also your sheer drive alone is greater that anyone I know working in Pharma. I worked in Pharma research years ago and cannot even recall anyone that came close to the tenacity, focus and drive that you have. I am very proud to say that you are my "sistahfutureDr". BUT BABY GIRL GO TO MED SCHOOL. Because I am so madly in love with medicine and science, I understand you. But I have also come to realize that it is rare that (A) people won't be intimidated by your sheer knowledge alone (which is really a God Given Gift). (B) just plain can't understand that level of passion (C) are jealous and angry because you tend to shine like a laser beam. (D)appear extremely brilliant to them that only have ego's to support all of their time working in science and are not noticed very often and probably have made no significant contribution to any discovery. To this I say GO FOWARD..."sistahfutureDr". I am rooting for you....

  2. Awwww, I teared up after reading that, thank you my fellow "sistahfutureDr"!!!! On that note, I think I'm gonna have to just gut this one out as far as staying in the lab is concerned (and not trying to move to another division in the company) because I'm learning so much that's eventually going to help me in my future as a Pathologist!! I'm also still convinced that there's a lesson God wants me to have down pat before med school, so I'm going to focus on the beauty of learning lessons that will benefit my bright future!

    Thanks again! Luv ya'!

  3. LOL, at the "I'm looking bored at the meetings" comment!!!! I guess I hadn't thought about that because I don't feel that way inside, but I suppose it's a possibility, LOL!!!!

    I MISS academia!!!

  4. I am so glad that you are encouraged. And yes stay in the lab. I believe wholeheartedly that God has divine plan for you that is in association with this environment. Also I was going to say, ACADEMIA, ACADEMIA, ACADEMIA!!!!. You took the words right out of my mouth. You are definitely better suited for that as well. I also have a real passion to teach clinical medicine and possibly bio-chem in a med school as well. I even envision myself most of the time teaching very complex concepts and breaking them down to the lowest common denominator to clearly deliver the knowledge. That is also a way for me to commit concepts to memory. I USE THIS METHOD ALOT. This passion comes from 2 places. God and the fact that I have been robbed of great teachers and mentors that I need to prevent this for future generations. Also please reconsider being in the documentary that I am preparing. The schedule will chronologically accommodate everyone's schedule. We will talk more. You are a great asset to any environment. Much Love and and huuuugggggssss. Luv Yah -

  5. Consider it practice for residency. ;)

  6. As far as the patient that you suggested, in medicine it usually isn't as black/white (no pun intended) anymore. Medicine (particularly during residency) is often a team approach. You definitely can express your concerns and are free to not sign off on something. I think ... don't take this wrong, path ... you need to stop focusing on those what-ifs. You need to work on applying right now and not on what specialty you ultimately choose. Beyond that, mistakes happen even in pathology ... they happen in all fields, at all levels and they are even made by the best of the best. The goal is to minimize them. Stop worrying about whether or not you will experience conflict later. It almost assures that you will. ;) Work on applying, reducing conflict in your current job situation and life, and just enjoy the process.

  7. Once again, thanks for the truth Kris! Between you and njdr2b, I have absoultely NO choice than to do what I need to do!!

    And yes, I'm kicking myself everyday for NOT applying this Fall even if my app would have been super late! URGH!!!

    I PROMISE I will NOT do this next year!

  8. WOW....You are definitely better than me...I guess that's why I was self employed for 13 years before med school..I hate playing that inner office game...But, sounds like you have a handle on it..and know what you are dealing with...

    But, I agree with Kris...apply to med school...Yes, you will have oppositions on every level..but, I think knowing you are on the path that you truly want to be on..will make them worth while to fight or overcome....

    You are a strong, smart, intelligent woman...I know you will make a fanastic research doctor...Im glad you have a passion for research..and I pray that your efforts in whatever field of choice will be as rewarding for you as you could imagine of dream...

    Get that application stuff together and ready to summit as soon as application season will be here before you know it.....