Friday, February 13, 2009

My Strange Life

When I was living in St. Louis for seven years, I was enrolled in the "Medical Scientist Training Program"--during the course of this time, I earned both my Ph.D. (in Molecular & Cell Biology) and my M.D. (in Medicine, duh). However, the time spent doing my Ph.D. was doing pretty much 100% science, whereas my training for the M.D. was 100% medicine: the worlds were segregated, and it was sometimes difficult to see how the two pieces of training were related.

During my residency in Philadelphia, and during my first year of Nephrology fellowship in Boston, I spent a combined four years so busy in the hospital seeing patients that I barely had time to eat & sleep--much less think about science.

Now, finally, I feel like I'm beginning to merge the two pieces of my career together, and it's satisfying.

If I had to put a figure on it, it's probably about 85% research & 15% clinical right now. I spend Monday evenings covering the Dialysis Unit, Thursday mornings seeing kidney patients in clinic, catch a few Nephrology talks here and there, and once to twice a month I moonlight on the Internal Medicine service seeing patients sick enough to get admitted to the hospital with a variety of ailments. The remainder of the time I'm doing experiments on fish kidneys in the lab. It's fun and more than a little bizarre. Today, as I was biking to M.I.T. to pick up some mutant fish from another lab, I thought to myself how bizarre this life might sound to somebody on the outside.


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