Girls... Im really sorry, this is going to be a long post... but I hope *somebody* reads this and helps me out because Im completely at the breaking point and Im desperate to hear encouraging words out of anyone, if even only one soul... Im trying to make a HUGE career change and just from the get-go, I know this is going to be one long, messy, painful upheaval. I posted about this a bit in other threads, but I was hoping I could hear some words of encouragement/support from other tPFers who have done this. Im miserable where I am. Im enrolled in an 8-year dual-degree MD/PhD program and every other year, I reach a breaking point where Id rather be homeless and starving than continue what Im doing. There are days I just hide in my bed and sleep all day because I dread walking into the lab. Last year, after another breakdown, I found out that another scientist had quit his postdoc and started a job in patent law, and that his company was sponsoring him to study law with a part-time program. I subsequently learned that a lot of lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom, and that most of them spend a lot of time researching, analyzing, negotiating with people, and writing. I love writing, although not creative/journalistic writing, and had always thought that if there were a way to use words/writing to help people in constructive ways, that would be my ideal job. I took career tests and judge/lawyer showed up, along with counselor/psychologist and journalist/creative writer. But I know I dont want to be a psychologist, and though I love writing, I want it to be a means to an end, not the end itself. I started researching law schools and law careers, and took a diagnostic LSAT and scored 170 out of 180 on the first try! I was so thrilled/relieved about the LSAT score because I thought finally that law school might be a possibility. More importantly, I started feeling like maybe there WAS a niche for me a career something I could do and still be happy. But theres no one else who can be happy with me, except possibly my boyfriend, who sees how miserable I am every day. The scientists in my lab think Im betraying them. My MD/PhD director says that when future employers see that I quit the program, theyll think I have no tenacity. Im still trying to figure out who I can ask recommendations from, since all the academic figures in my past are strongly pro-science and pro-medicine, and are adamant that I finish. My parents and grandparents have been pushing medicine since high school, and theyll kill me if they find out Im applying to law school. My friends tell me that I have no idea what I have and Im throwing everything away. I feel really stuck. I hate where I am and can see where I want to be, but I feel like its completely impossible. Im terrified of staying, because its been a long, slow death. But I dont know where to go from here. Please... if anyone has any advice or personal stories to share, please help.