I’m posting here, because I’m sure there are at least a handful of surgeons on this board. I’ve been preparing to get an additional degree in Mech E, when my close friend and mentor who is a cancer doctor suggested I go to med school and become a Plastic Surgeon. This isn’t the first time a doctor has recommended this path, I had another doctor friend recommend the same thing (unsolicited) during college when I worked in the ER. I’m in oil and gas now, but since I’m going to have to take roughly three years off work to go the Mech E route, I’m starting to wonder if taking the Plastic Surgeon route would be better. I’m well acquainted with the oil and gas engineering world and its lifestyle, but have less insight into the plastic surgery world and its lifestyle. I would really appreciate some feedback from your experiences if you don’t mind sharing. Questions: Do you feel satisfied with your decision to pursue this careers over the long term, or would you do things differently? Do you enjoy what you do? Many engineers I’ve met that are well into their career seem to truly enjoy their work, and aren’t in a rush to fully retire. Do you get a reasonable amount of time with your family? (I do field work 10 hrs days, 6 days a week, I consider that fairly reasonable; but ultimately would like to get most weekends off if workload permits) Do you have any flexibility regarding time off for vacation. As in would you struggle to take 10-14 days off at a time maybe twice a year. Do you have opportunities to travel internationally for work or long periods of time. For example, could you take a month off without putting your practice at risk. The international travel is a big draw to me in my current field, but if I can’t do it for work, I’m wondering if I’ll still have the time to do it for pleasure. Is it reasonable to calculate that one can breach the $350k/yr in Texas cost of living dollars in exchange for more quality of life? My mentor feels I can near or breach 7 figures with the right marketing, appeal to South American clients/patients, having a private practice, but obviously continuing my workaholic lifestyle. In all honestly, my trajectory is Engineering right now, I just know it a lot better. However, this will be my last run at school, and I want to give the MD track a fair evaluation as it also seems interesting. I’ve got a wife and little kiddo’s now, and I’m going to have to sell everything and do the college life thing again so this is it. Some background: I’ve gone down the business school side, International Business + MBA. In the past I worked 4-5 years in an ER as patient access (during college). I’ve spent the last 11 years in oil and gas. Have done well for myself here, and know a lot about how this industry operates. I roughly know the career ladder, and know that a Mech E degree will take me to the next level (especially when paired with my MBA). This will require leaving my work for 2.5 years to fully dedicate myself to getting the degree, and obviously the MD route will take slightly longer, but at least residency is paid, and over the long run, barring reaching VP+ positions or lucking out with a successful business, it seems like there’s a lot more financial upside potential, as well as certainty, on the plastic surgery side. I have an entrepreneurial streak, and had a great learning opportunity with a small but ultimately unsuccessful business. However, I’ve hit my stride in consulting, and seems to be my sweet spot (which I think aligns fairly well with MD). I’m grateful for any feedback you may have.