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Hello KPers and friends:

I have been reading all the thoughtful responses to my query for help with my decision. I have been very impressed with the wisdom of the ideas presented to me.

I am also very touched that so many people took the time to respond. It warms my heart that so many people do care.

I am very close to making a final decision, and your comments have helped me.

The bottom line is:

THANK YOU ALL. I AM VERY LUCKY to HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN FACE TO FACE.

Please pardon my loud voice, but it had to be said in as loud a voice as I could muster.

I'll try to respond to as many of you as I can, but I really wanted to say that I've been reading all the responses.

Very grateful and lucky,

Erick
(xerohype)

P.S. I'll share my decision when I finalize it on Sunday.
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Erick. I think the answer is relatively simple and suggest (respectfully) that you knew it before you asked the question. With me, I knew I wanted to be a trial lawyer since the day I started talking...too much!
BTW, and with no desire to influence your decision; there's a hell of a lot of aging boomers like me with knees damaged by years of overuse that require your attention!

Best Regards, Bruce
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BTW, and with no desire to influence your decision; there's a hell of a lot of aging boomers like me with knees damaged by years of overuse that require your attention!

Which could be given in the OR, from the laboratory, or by enabling tissue repair companies!

We all know that Erick is always going to be giving 1100% towards aiding his fellow human, he just needs to figure out how he wants to go about it.

Good luck,

Mark

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No. of Recommendations: 34
Erick:

Anything I could say has probably already been said by the many who responded to your first thread. I'd re-read the response by lungdoc. Then read it again. I can't tell you what to do, but I can share my experience (.....).

I've been a physician for 25 years, most of it direct clinical work, a lot of it management work. I've been investing for a long time, fairly seriously since 1987.

Here's how I feel about it. Making money is fun. Losing money is not fun. I've done both. When I get done with some investing work, nothing fundamental has happened to me. I may have more or less money, but my spirit hasn't been enriched, and I haven't contributed to the universe. There may well be some who DO get these fundamental values from investing, but I'm not one of them.

I won't bore you with my thoughts about being an exec, other than to say the ego-gratification is deferred, it's often quite frustrating, and can be very rewarding. And you CAN make a difference.

Medicine? Last weekend I saw a new patient with abdominal pain. It was no biggie, but for a variety of reasons, I ended by thinking it was appendicitis. The patient and his wife, both highly educated, thought I was nuts, that it was just a bug. But I talked them into an immediate surgical evaluation, on a Saturday evening in the Emergency Department, even if just to humor me. The wife called on Monday to thank me for saving her husband's life. The appy was retrocecal, hard to get to, subtle, but red hot.

I've delivered babies in the back of the taxi in the Emer Dept driveway. I've had my finger in a gunshot-induced hole in the left ventricle while a colleague purse-stringed the defect. I've had to tell people their husband or wife was dead, and I've been lucky enough to tell a lot more that he or she would be OK. I've shouldered the enormous responsibility that comes when someone says, "Doctor, what do YOU think I should do?" I've had the tremendous good fortune to make a difference in the lives of many people.

For me, there's not much that could compare. The business of medicine isn't what it used to be, there's all kinds of cynicism around, but when I go to work in the morning, I get to enter a place where not many get to go. It almost gets mystical for me. If you understand what I mean, if you feel that way when you're at the bedside, then you may need to be a doctor. You can always be an MBA some other day. If not, then maybe you should look at a career change.

There's a book called "Mortal Lessons - Notes on the Art of Surgery", by Richard Selzer, MD. You should read it quickly before you make your decision. I feel moved to insert a fairly long quote here:

"I do not know when it was that I understood that it is precisely this hell in which we wage our lives that offers us the energy, the possibility to care for each other. A surgeon does not slip from his mother's womb with compassion smeared upon him like the drippings of his birth. It is much later that it comes. No easy shaft of grace this, but the cumulative murmuring of the numberless wounds he has dressed, the incisions he has made... In the beginning it is barely audible, a whisper, as from many mouths. Slowly it gathers, rises from the streaming flesh until, at last, it is a pure calling - an exclusive sound, like the cry of certain solitary birds - teling that out of the resonance between the sick man and the one who tends him there may spring that profound courtesy that the religious call Love."

If that means something important to you, enjoy Birmingham.

RBob
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"I do not know when it was that I understood that it is precisely this hell in which we wage our lives that offers us the energy, the possibility to care for each other. A surgeon does not slip from his mother's womb with compassion smeared upon him like the drippings of his birth. It is much later that it comes. No easy shaft of grace this, but the cumulative murmuring of the numberless wounds he has dressed, the incisions he has made... In the beginning it is barely audible, a whisper, as from many mouths. Slowly it gathers, rises from the streaming flesh until, at last, it is a pure calling - an exclusive sound, like the cry of certain solitary birds - teling that out of the resonance between the sick man and the one who tends him there may spring that profound courtesy that the religious call Love."

Wow Bob. Brought tears to my eyes. Great to see other surgeons helping Erick.
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Erick:

Such is life, choices one after another. Much good advice on making your decision has been given, I am coming from a different direction.

Having worked in an operating room, I must tell you that the Orthopedic docs are some of the happiest people in the world. Working with their hands, hammers, chisels, drills, saws, prosthesis, reviewing x-rays, and cracking jokes between times. And when they have a new “toy” to use for a procedure, they are absolutely ecstatic, just like Christmas. I think they sublimate their anger and hostility with every tap on the hammer. I will tell you the physical side for an Orthopedic surgeon can be extensive, I have seen them at the end of a procedure removing their surgical gowns, totally wet with sweat, but never complaining. All of them I have worked with (two Medical schools, surgeons and residents), love their chosen career. One of the esteemed profs was honored in Russia for new work, he was on Cloud 9 when he came back. And you know they have to continue to do research if at a Med Center, so publishing is something they have to contend with also, something I would see you involved in.

Some of their best work takes place in the middle of the night after a grueling day, facing a patient they have not seen until he presents with mangled bones after serious trauma. Now here, it calls for stamina and fast decision making, driving me the surgical nurse crazy trying to figure out the implements needed for the journey of fixing. The satisfaction at the end of the procedure is self -evident.

I will never forget following a long, difficult procedure when the Orthopod when finished, he lightly slapped the fanny of the patient and said, “there, you feel better already don't you”.

MBA's? Well, the encounters I have had with a few didn't show me the love, satisfaction, and enthusiasm for a “job” that I saw with the Orthopods. (Since I am retired, I no longer work with them.)

Yes, your wife is a consideration. Residents put in long hours, but the reward of going to a convention paid for by the companies products you use makes wives very happy about once a year. Does she have interests to keep her occupied and fulfilled? Unhappy wives are troublesome to residents, I have heard many tales of woe in this regard. It does need to be a joint commitment.

Kick back in your recliner, put on soothing music, use some imagery with closed eyes, “seeing” what each choice might bring to your mind in different time frames. Bottom line, it is your choice and you are so gifted that whatever choice you make, it isn't the end of the world, it is just another path to
pursue. We all would like to know the outcome of the choices we make, but God didn't give us that option, he just helps us along life's way.

Good luck, you will be successful whatever your decision.

BunnyClark

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Erick
Someone should write a book about cyberfriends. I actually met a cyberfriend when I had cause to visit St. John's Newfoundland last spring. Skandy is a regular on the Canada board - I value his thoughts and mutterings.
So when I was making my plans to visit St. John's on business, I emailed and said - "Let's get together for Coffee". I added that I am not an axe murderer.
We met at my hotel in the coffee shop, sat down for a coffee --- and two hours later, reluctantly parted. Back to cyberspace, I guess.
It was a great experience for me.
And here I thought all you people were just cyberpeople. Not flesh and blood and real.
Back to xerohype - whatever you choose, you will do well at. The question, I guess, is where does your bliss lie?
Don
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Hey Erick and all

This is such a cool thread. The note about cyberfriends struck a chord with me.

I've had a bunch of encounters now with friends who became friends over the ether. Ranging from a wine tasting afternoon in San Antonio to visiting a Biotech company. It's surprising, but this clumsy medium can create friendships as strong and lasting as any relationship formed in the flesh.

Yet I think it highlights something fundamental. Despite all the flame wars and arguements people really can communicate their wish that another person is happy in their life. In this case you've been given advice and kind thoughts from a huge number of people whose only concern is that you are happy in your choice.

That's friendship.

Pretty neat huh?

cheers
Bart

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