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a desperate college Jr...

nishir at ohsu.edu nishir at ohsu.edu
Fri Jan 28 12:02:43 EST 1994

In article <2i9jbi$l8g at apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> ahk8 at bonjour.cc.columbia.edu
(Amanda H Kahn) writes:
>...seeks advice regarding the scary world of graduate studies which she will
>be entering all to soon.
>	Hi there.  I'm a newcomer to this group--I actually signed up because
>this question has been plaguing me for a while.  As a Jr. at Columbia in NY
>(majoring in Bio, and doing some history on the side), I'm at that point
>where I have to look in the mirror and say, "OK, so are you going to wield
>a pipette, a stethoscope, or a stick of chalk for the REST OF YER DAMN LIFE?"
>Like so many idealistic young science students, I want to go out there, make
>a difference and so forth, AND manage to do something that I truly enjoy.  
>There was a Scientific American article back in November, I think, which dealt
>with the truly pathetic figures for female PhD employment.  Yeah, I think that
>I want to be a scientist rather than a doctor (500 gram rats turn me on, but
>people don't.  Strange, huh?), but do I really want to spend my time fighting
>against a male-dominated, exclusive system.
>	I guess what I'm trying to ask is, is it as bad out there as people 
>say it is?  And while we're on the subject of giving poor Amanda advice, if
>I wish to do research, do I go for the PhD, MD, or both?
>			Thanks,
>			Amanda.Kahn at columbia.edu

Statistics are really misleading.  Sure, women PhDs are outnumbered by men,
especially at higher levels, but that doesn't mean that you have to constantly
fight against a "male dominated, exclusive system".  The reasons that there are
so few females in academic science are societal and sociological in addition to
possibly a few male pigs in the profession.  As you can see from some of the
previous discussion here, it really takes alot of motivation, hard work, and
enthusiasm to become successful.  But just because you're female doesn't
preclude you from trying.  I would say, if you're at all interested in
research, go for it!  Remember, you don't have to plunge into grad school right
after getting your B.S.  You may want to work in a lab for awhile first to make
sure this is what you want to do...

Rae Nishi
Assoc. Prof.
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland OR

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