Thursday, October 28, 2004

THE OTHER PLAN: Graduate school in the biological sciences. Because:

1. I might not actually like doctor work.
2. I may be more of a "knowledge for knowledge's sake" type than an "applied knowledge" type.
3. This is related to 2.: I may find the biological literature more interesting than the medical literature.
4. Grad school itself is really hard, and you have to show some creativity in there too in the process of finding an idea and researching it and making some kind of contribution to science. In medicine you can do this too, but not for a while, and before you do you have to learn a whole lot of rules of practicing medicine because it is really really important that you not screw up. Whereas you can screw up in the higher levels of the sciences and not kill anybody. I guess that's all one point.
5. There's a whole wide range of things to study within the biological sciences. You are more restricted within medicine for obvious reasons. And it's not like medicine is a subset of biology; it's this art & practice thing, not a science.
6. My ancientness. I could be a Ph.D. faster than I could be an M.D., though it probably takes you longer to get established as a Ph.D.
7. Related to 1: Lifestyle issues. Doctors tend to look pretty miserable.

Arguing against it: I have no idea how people decide on what to specialize in within the sciences. My friend at school says it's all random, it's just a matter of what kind of program you get into, and in any case you're going to have to spend some time working on something that isn't really "yours." Whereas I can see how med students find something that appeals to them: the options (the specialties and subspecialties) are a lot more clear.

Just thinking out loud here. I need....options. And it would be a bad idea to commit myself to medical school if I wasn't completely sure about it. And--hey!--I could actually not get into medical school. So making more plans is a good idea.

Anyway. Josh Marshall thinks he has killed the "explosives were moved before the war" story. It looks pretty conclusive to me, but I await the Bush Apologists' rebuttals.

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