Monday, November 04, 2013

My brain confuses my heart

Graduate schools. Supposedly the backup for medical school. Not so sure about that really.

It seems the only reason they've gotten the title of "backup" for me is because my chances of getting into them is much higher than my chances of getting into medical school. But I should also be clear that I have no more intentions of pursuing a career in academia.

So why graduate school? Because I found a great Biotechnology Masters program that is two years, including a one year paid internship with a biotech company. My end goal has always been translational medicine- leaning more towards diagnostics currently (though that can change). Really, to end up there, I can either take the medical school path, or do graduate studies.

The issue is that everything in the future will be made easier with that MD behind my name. I feel like that's a common reality. If I want to do medical affairs, doctors prefer talking to peers. If I want to do clinical trials, it's easier to get patients on board if you have access to them. Even if I just want to get tissue samples for molecular research, having the MD would help.

Not to say that things are too difficult if I take the graduate studies route, I'm quite confident I have the interpersonal skills and the technical knowledge to excel there. But if I finish with a Masters, or even a PhD, the perks of the MD don't come with either of those. In fact, if I do graduate school, first I need to get that masters- then what? If I go straight into the workforce with just a masters, well... in science it becomes very hard to move up the ranks. I could go into the sales path, but that just takes me further and further away from the basics of the science.

Do I do a masters then try again for medical school? That seems like a very valid path right now. So what will happen if I do get an acceptance from a medical school? I wonder if I'll end up deciding not to take it.