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Postdoc Plight

Thank you for the update on the status and plight of postdocs.1 I personally spent 11 years on the postdoc/research associate circuit, and found that expectations for performance relative to the salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement were totally unrealistic. I became less competitive in the grant "game" each year that passed, not because of my proposals, but because I was seen as "not productive." Catch-22! Many of my colleagues dropped out and pursued non-life science careers in

Barbara Zimmerman

Thank you for the update on the status and plight of postdocs.1 I personally spent 11 years on the postdoc/research associate circuit, and found that expectations for performance relative to the salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement were totally unrealistic. I became less competitive in the grant "game" each year that passed, not because of my proposals, but because I was seen as "not productive." Catch-22! Many of my colleagues dropped out and pursued non-life science careers in the information technology industries.

Four years ago, I decided that there was more to life than the narrow confines of my lab. I chose to translate my knowledge to the layperson, and I am developing a freelance business as a biomedical communicator and consultant. At the most recent national meeting of the American Medical Writers Association, nearly half of the attendees were former life scientists or clinicians. We have not abandoned...

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