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August 2016

You Have More Choices Than You Think

You Have More Choices Than You Think

Career Story Blog Post By Athena Petrides, PhD, Instructor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and Medical Director of Lab Control, Point-of-Care Testing, and Chemistry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Five years ago I was a grad student at University of Rochester Medical Center and was at a point with my project where I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  After four years of hard work, finally, things were working out and I had an actual story to write about as a thesis.  That was a fleeting moment of excitement because then I asked myself – now what? So, naturally, I talked to many members of the faculty who pretty much said that I had two options: academia or industry. I was not thrilled. I was not at all excited by basic research anymore, and I no longer wanted to pipette, perform ELISAs, or pour gels. I did not want the bench; I wanted an office! After some soul searching I realized that I actually really did still like research, but I wanted to make some kind of contribution to science in real time. I wanted to help people – perhaps get involved in health care. Did that mean that I needed to do an MD? I didn’t want to go back to school: not at all