Yeah, frustrated is the EXACT word I'd use to describe how I'm feeling career wise these days. And the fact that I've spent a good portion of the past few years wasting my time in Pharma, working with and around people with NO moral compass, angers me even more! URGH!! I'm STILL trying to figure out exact what da' hell I was supposed to learn being around folks like that other then to stay the hell away from them. Okay, let me state for the record, I totally get that there are unethical folks EVERYWHERE. But when I think about all the problems in the news relating to drugs and drug products and put that with that together with what I frequently saw with my own eyes, it's a sad revelation about where we are as people, human beings. That "collateral damage" is factored into a companies bottom line when producing drugs/drug products.
So why am I considering applying for a local job with a starting salary of 115K and a salary range to 160K at a local Pharma company? Let's be real, it IS about the moolah, but on a certain level, I keep telling myself that this on could be different from the others...........yeah.......right, LOL!!!! On a smaller level, it's about me looking around at my people my age and feeling waaaaaayyyyy behind the eight ball so to speak, where my career is concerned. So I get that I should feel blessed to even have the options I do given that so many Scientists are under or unemployed, but still. I sometime can't help that feeling of being so far behind my peers when it comes to careers, and the fact that I regularly pass on opportunities doesn't help at all!!!
But what does help are those everyday reminders that I'm in this medical career thing for the long haul. Seeing the homeless person on the corner with open sores on his arms and thinking to myself that I sure could do a LOT of good as a volunteer Doc at a homeless clinic. Or reading the stats on the dismal survival rates from breast cancer of Black women in metro DC. Or bumping into one of my numerous supporters who remind me of when I'm applying to med school and/or what I'm doing as far as my application is concerned. Speaking of application, I recently looked at my personal statements over the years since my first med school app in 1991, and it's amazing to look at how much I've changed and grown. Equally amazing in the thought that every single experience I've had since then will in some significant way contribute to making me the kind of Doc I'm supposed to be. And to think of becoming a Doc without having had these experiences first seems rather strange and unnatural. I have a strong sense that despite a VERY late start in all this, I'm going to make up for passed time (NOT lost time) and before you know it, I'll BE the practicing Doc, balancing my life as a Clinician, Researcher, and Teacher. So with that thought in mind, it's VERY easy for me to think of my start at the NIH next month (yes, I'm claiming it!!) as the first step in what will hopefully be a long term career there, beginning as a predoc/premed, to MD/PhD student, followed by Residency/Fellowship, and ending as a Clinical Associate (no tenure track rat race for me, LOL!!)