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This is a throw-away daylog, unless many of you think it should be renamed into a real write-up/node. I'd leave this hidden, but would like more input. I'm passing along information to a friend; but I earned my Master's so long ago, I know I need more current information. I'm not doing formal research for pay or play, I promise.

How many of you have pursued a graduate degree while working full time, and was it in a traditional classroom setting, or online? Did your employer help with tuition, or at least help with time off for research at local libraries? How did you prepare for the GRE or other standardized exams? And, more importantly, did earning the degree while working full-time leave you with no time for friends and family?

For some background: I earned my Master's while working full-time, with a fairly busy travel schedule. I was very lucky to have half of my tuition (not books or software) covered by my employer, and could take time off for writing papers - or intensive study for exams - if I scheduled the time around known business conflicts. In return, I lost a bit of sleep when life didn't go as planned, and the big boss didn't wonder why I looked a bit tired. It was worth every dollar and hour I spent on earning the degree, and not just for career advancement. I now approach problems in a different way in almost every situation, almost always to the good. I think.

Send me a /msg, or respond to all in a daylog if you have information to pass on. Let me know if anything sent to me via /msg should be shared with or without attribution.

And guys, if you want it, go for the degree, graduate or undergrad. It's for YOU.

Not me, said the lizard. Well, but....I did a variation. My college degree is a bachelor of science in Scandinavian Studies and Zoology with Honors. I have more than one interest...

I worked and saved for five years between college and med school because I didn't know what the hell I wanted to do. I thought grad school: I even took the GREs. Did really well. But the thought of writing a thesis was horrid*. I did not want to be one of three world experts in honeybee behavior or toenail fungus or whatever. I was working in a lab at the National Institutes of Health and the science was fascinating but the postdocs and physicians literally fought with each other until they taped off 42 inches of lab desk top each....A person's a person no matter how small....and I thought, damn it, I am a generalist, how the hell do I do that? OH! Primary care, family practice and I can work ANYWHERE in the ENTIRE WORLD and am not tied to a stupid college or university... and job security and life long learning...And I LOVE it!

Now the Introverted Thinker is off to college. She said, "Mom, would you leave my room the same for two years?" "Yes," I said. I have signed my work lease for two years. I am starting to go through NINE YEARS of stuff set aside because I was a single mother full time doctor taking call and then opening my own clinic, learning to run a business, and sister died, father died, family craziness ever since....I need Maryanne, the Steam Shovel....

And I have been family practicing for 27 years....what will I do in two years? I don't know yet....


My medical school, the Medical College of Virginia, now part of Virginia Commonwealth University, chose older students. Half our class had been working for some period of time before starting. We thought the young ones who continued to party every night, often around the cadavers they were dissecting, were morons. I worked nine jobs before medical school. The older students were more skeptical about everything, more thoughtful and most of them treated the hospital staff better....

*It wasn't the writing itself that bothered me. It was picking a focus and narrowing. I did not want to.

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