SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads) I'm an early 3rd year med student trying to decide what to do here. Since childhood, I've been set on pursuing neurosurgery, but it has recently dawned upon me that I might be more fascinated by "being a neurosurgeon" than "doing neurosurgery." Clearly, there is a dichotomy between public and even self-perception of this job and one's actual duties. Pros for me: I love the ideas of being an expert in one field, working with cutting edge technology, a high guaranteed salary, and admittedly "playing God" (to some extent - and this is me just being honest, not facetious). Cons to me: Limited to CNS (PNS, I've been told, is rarely pursued by neurosurgeons - and if pursued only at highly academic centers), surgeries limited to minimally invasive prodding of jello-like substance for hours on end, work hours, minimal international work (is that truth?)? can I handle the sickest of the sick all day every day (I don't know, can you and does it make you happy?)? I've done plastic surgery research for 2 years now (which ironically I did not seek out, long story) and have a solid application in line. However, I have absolutely no inclination to do cosmetics work. I've been told by a senior plastic surgeon that neurosurgery is "just poking around in goo," which sounds flip, but does not seem far from the truth. He said plastic surgery, on the other hand, is the "best" field because of great outcomes, working on every part of the body including muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessels, capacity for international work, and ability to mold one's career path in any way (in terms of options to sub-specialize, although this quality is not unique to plastics). He mentioned that in the academic setting, there is very little cosmetic work. Pros to me are all of the aforementioned. Cons to me: Cosmetics, public/colleague perception of plastic surgeons, regret for not pursuing neurosurgery, lack of CNS research, don't care for many topics in plastics (intimidated by need for extensive knowledge of anatomy. Don't care for wound healing, breast reconstruction, cosmetics; things that I more or less consider "menial"), some part of me wants to handle life and death situations (is that ego and self-righteousness or genuine compassion? Don't know) So I guess my question is, how did you all come to a decision (not necessarily even between plastics and neurosurgery, but any other field you were considering)? Was your decision immediately apparent to you from the get-go? I have heard that it comes down to being able to tolerate bread and butter cases in whatever field you do. Will any of you offer some perspective on that sentiment? What is bread and butter plastics/neurosurgery? What can I do to help myself answer these questions? I've shadowed 2-3 cases in each field but was not particularly impressed (probably since I was just standing in the background for several hours, neither seemed to "click" but then again NOTHING has seemed to "click" for me). I definitely have the dedication to pursue whatever I decide on, but things at this stage in the game seem clear as mud. ANY insight would be appreciated. Thanks for the thoughts! PS I am qualified to match in either specialty, if that is something that might cause hangups.