I am a hopeful MD/PhD future applicant. Currently, I work full time in a research lab where publication is extremely feasible; however, being a 1st author seems near impossible (for various reasons I will not mention) and that is my ultimate goal. Now, I am at a point where I can accept a Postbac NIH/IRTA position out of state. Thus, I'm in a dilemma for various reasons. Pros for accepting NIH offer: 1.) hmm. it's NIH! I've heard stories (on SDN at least) that their NIH experience definitely helped them get into med school. I totally understand it is experience-dependent, but the name "NIH" should've helped at least? 2.) The lab seems very well respected with a lot of current publications. 3.) Very interesting research. It's definitely the type of research I would like to do someday as a MD/PhD. It involves both clinical and basic research. Cons: 1.) Major salary cut. $47,000 to $29,000. 2.) Out-of-state, which means I'll have to pay for my own apt (currently, I live at home with parents) and also pay my own groceries/foods. 3.) Social life might end up sucking since I don't know anyone in DC and I'm afraid I'd be alone for the entire 2 years ... Don't get me wrong. I can make friends easily, but I would want to find friends who enjoy going out for a drink, clubbing, etc. and, from my experience, the lab just isn't the right place to make friends with for that same reason (esp. not co-workers). Anyways, I would please like to get someone else's opinion. What would you do? Accept the NIH offer? Sorry for the long post.