Monday, March 11, 2013

I couldn't think of a post title, LOL!!

So I got an update on "the prefect gov't gig" that I was still in the running, but that they were still interviewing other candidates. And in my job history, when an employer has to think long about hiring me, that doesn't usually turn out to be a happy working environment. Speaking of jobs, the legal process with my last Pharma job has also taken a major step toward resolution and for my bottom line, that's a VERY good thing! And the fact that that the insecure witch that ran my division is no longer employed with them under circumstances which no one seems to want to go into details about, says to me that in the end, the career she tried to destroy with blatant lies ended up being hers! Yeah, Karma is a Bee-oytch!!!!!

I also launched my tutoring business by complete accident and I still haven't decided how far I want to take this (which is completely idiotic, IMHO). While tutoring another student through the company I work for, I noticed a student sitting at the next table seeming to be eavesdropping on our conversation. And I'm cool with situations like that, I figure if he gets helped from what he hears, good for him! So after my session ended, he asked me if I would help him prepare for the same exam since he and the student I was tutoring just happened to be at the same university. Thus, after months of thinking/planning, my business was launched!

Speaking of school a few weeks ago, I was supposed to follow up on interviews for the PhD program in Epidemiology/Informatics but I wasn't feeling well and the Prof I was to interview with had to cancel at the last minute. For whatever reason, I haven't rescheduled that interview and the reason is because while I'm certain there's a PhD in my future, I'm just not sure which one anymore. At the heart of the issue is my doubt with the "market" for folks who want research careers and the fact that the older I get, the less appealing working for others indefinitely is for me. And it's an understatement to say that for the past 5 years where I've tried my damndest to get back into an research academic environment long term and had very little success (at least in Metro DC), that I've been repeatedly disappointed at the lack of opportunities. Okay, most folks in research understand that being willing to relocate is part of the deal, but I simply wasn't willing to uproot my family at this time. So I had to deal with the ramifications of that decision. But the other part of my concern about research careers in general is that fact that the "market" for scientists is so shaky thanks to immigration laws. Put another way, why would a PI hire me at 60K when they can hire a foreign MD/PhD at 30K? And I can't count the number of foreigners I know/heard of that work for free when their spouses are assigned a paying lab position. And this is at the heart of why the US can't recruit folks to pursue careers in the sciences, though they'd like you to think a lack of interest is the problem. Finally, there's the issue of mentor ship which for a research career is MORE critical than education and experience, and unfortunately that's a HUGE missing part of my professional life right now. And IMHO, this is the primary reason why you see so few underrepresented minorities (URMs) in or pursuing research careers. So more than ever these days, I'm thinking that some inner city clinical duties (as an Internist) combined with teaching/mentoring at th med school level, and some STEM education business building may be the best long term career option for me.

Anyhoo, all this has me thinking about which PhD program will help me in the long run and be of personal and professional interest, emphasis on help me in the long run which is a stark contrast from what I've previously talked about. Sure, I really LOVE Bio-Health informatics but if I can't make the kind of career I want of that in metro DC (as it appears now), then that's a HUGE problem. So now I'm thinking that maybe Science Education should be a consideration since: 1) My business could be helped by that 2) I LOVE teaching and 3) I'll have little worry about being an unemployed PhD due to my business interests. Emphasizing STEM education specifically targeting minority and underprivileged kids lines up perfectly with who I am and what I'm about. And the fact that the President has set aside multiple millions of dollars toward this area isn't lost on me either. I could also consider concentrating in medical education and one local school even has a curriculium in that area. Right now, I don't know exactly where this is heading but I'm looking into ALL viable options. In the meantime, I'm on target to get a certificate in Bioinformatics for all my blood, sweat, and tears these past few months!

Moving on, I'm thinking about a September 2013 MCAT test date (you didn't think I fogot about that did you, LOL??), but at this point, I think it's more likely to be a January 2014 date. I've decided to get certified to tutor in Physics in an attempt to expand my business prospects and also prepare for the MCAT. But given that Physics in my untimate weak area, I'll need some time to get that on track. I think I can do it this summer for the Sept 2013 date, but I'm just not so sure. So I'm leaving that fairly open.

Well, I think that's about it for now, lots and lots of ideas running though my mind (as usual), but at the same time, thinking about all of life's possibilities is a TON of fun!

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