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The most difficult decision of my life

Posted May 09 2010 4:28pm
Helloooo beauts,

How are ya? HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the mamas out there!!! I miss my mama so much....Unfortunately I'm not able to spend today with her. She's visiting the District in 2 weeks so I'll have to do something special for her then. Did you spend time with your mama??

Yesterday the Manfriend and I attended a CRAWFISH BOIL! I've been to pleeeently of lobster, crab, and clam bakes (having grown up in New England), but I've yet to try crawfish. Let me tell you, if you're a crab/lobster/shrimp lover....then you will LOVE these little guys. This is a Southern tradition (particularly New Orleans) and I'm so glad I was invited. Thank you Ally and Erica!

The boil was at Erica's place in Capitol Hill. On the menu:

^Chalkboard on door. HOW CUTE?!?!

They shipped in 120 LBS of live CRAWFISH from New Orleans!!!! I inquired about the cooking process because they were SO GOOD...

^Boil 30 lbs of crawfish + spices + corn on the cob + spiced sausage + garlic (whole clove) + mushrooms + potatoes + lemons for 15 mins = 1 batch (OF FOUR!)


^Ally and her BF (JJ)

NUTS. Soooo much food. Such a fantastic party. Made a lot of new friends. Great Louisiana tradition!!!!

Today I had a pretty enjoyable Sunday. It started with breakfast, reading the news, catching up with Sir DVR, then enjoying my coffee in the SUN:

^I LOVE THIS PIC. Coffee + rays of sun = PERFECTION.

To keep the summa bathing suit readiness going, I did a BOMB Treadmill HIIT workout (followed with weighted squats). AKA my legs feel like blocks! HA

Today's HIIT workout was FAST and SWEATYYY:

5 min warm-up at 7.5mph
4 min at 8.5 mph
5 X 30-45 sec sprints at 10.5 - 10.8 mph
4 min at 7.5 mph

10 X 3 sets Clean and Press (22 lbs). If you're not familiar with this awesome move check out this vid (scroll to the 34 second spot). It's a great shoulder, glut, and arse move!!!


I fueled with a Whole Food's Salad Monster:

^Spinach, arugula, kale, roasted turkey, egg, peppers, edamame, black beans, onions, quinoa, balsamic vinegar, and nutritional yeast. Overpriced? YES. Delish? HECK YES.

OK OK OK....the news I promised. Ahh, this is hard for me to talk about (publicly- so bear with me)...

After a year-long contemplation of my future (and future happiness), I've decided to leave my PhD program. Please know that I would have shared my thoughts along the way (and reached out for support) if I could. Sadly however, Bloggerville is not as small as we'd like to think and I would have been in bigggg trouble if my program found out through the Internet rather than telling them first. You understand, right?

Let me just begin by saying that I have great respect for my program (a joint Georgetown University and National Institutes of Health) PhD program in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology. I have obtained a phenomenal education, completed all doctoral course work (3.8 GPA! woot, haha), passed my qualifying exam, and published a paper in the Journal of Biochemistry. Therefore, this decision is not made because I could not 'hack the program'.

I realized (over the last year or so) my passion is TREATING patients rather than working behind the scenes doing the research. Research is incredibly important, don't get me wrong. It just doesn't "light my fire" anymore. Once publication-driven....I guess I've changed.

Soooo, now what?? My goals in college were to get into a top-ranked Biochemistry PhD program, publish a lot, graduate, do post-doctoral research, then run a researched-based laboratory of my own. I still have the same love for oncology, hematology, and transplant medicine, but I want to do it from "the other side" (the patient side).

After much consideration of my options, I've decided to withdraw from my program, file for my M.S. in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology and apply to Physician Assistant (PA) programs. For those of you unfamiliar with PAs, they are practitioners that work in conjunction with an attending physician, are first-responders (like nurses), can prescribe medicine, and advise other clinicians.

So, why didn't I do this from the beginning? Well I was originally in nursing school, but switched to Biochemistry because the sight of blood made me instantly faint. I assumed I just couldn't practice medicine because of my fear, and therefore went into research. However, over the last few years of WORKING WITH blood, I've realized I'm completely over this fear. So with that lifted, I can do what I want to do. And that is working WITH patients, specifically treating cancer patients.

So do I regret my 3 years of doctoral studies? NO WAY. I have an INCREDIBLE education in Biochemistry and oncology that will be priceless in my future career. Not to mention a funded M.S. degree.

Was this a hard decision? UMMM... YES. Hard because it isn't the easiest thing to tell your parents, family, friends, peers, and mentors that you're leaving a fully-funded PhD program that you've worked so hard to get into. But I had to do this FOR ME. This is MY LIFE. And I want to wake up every day EXCITED for work.

Have you ever had make a hard decision like this???

Thank you all for listening and I am SO THANKFUL for your support!!!

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!



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