I've spent the past year working on my Master's, and am continuing on in an MD-PhD program at the same school. I had originally planned to continue on in the same lab, but coming out the other side of my Master's I'm wondering if I would be better to seek out a less abusive environment, but it's a complicated decision to make. On the one hand, I have independence in this lab. My PI has great faith in me and gives me free reign and adequate resources to test my hypotheses. He occasionally brings good ideas to the table, and is very involved in my work. On the other hand, as it is a new lab, there is constant pressure to produce. As our work is involved in many collaborations, I find he has often pushed my techniques to other PIs before they were ready for prime time. He has a very abrasive personality and I find most of my colleagues, and other investigators don't deal with him well. He has chewed out some others for not keeping enough hours, and I've been pushed to my limits at times. (i.e. in October and November I spent 6 weeks continuous without a single day out of the lab, right now when I'm scanning on the night shift for the next two weeks). Several times he has really overstepped reasonable boundaries in publicly laying out other students for minor stupidity. (Although the student herself was exceptionally stupid.) Lately he's taken to calling at 6:45pm without much of an excuse, seems like it's just to see if I'm still here working. My wife can't stand his ego, and while he is intelligent, I find he is more of a jack of all trades than a true master of any. He also is running a startup biotech company, and I often question if he is more interested in selling my work than building a scientist. I want someone who will push me so I can be successful, not so he can be, and I'm afraid that may be the situation I'm in. At the same time, he is a great grant-writer, and he is a good editor for most of the work we've done together. Picture a PI with the personality of House, but not quite as smart as his ego merits. There are several other PIs here who I would consider working with, but I know I'd get a very significant project and lots of good publications if I continued in this lab. I just don't know if it's an ideal environment, and I don't know if there is enough that I can learn from him. I realize I have a while to decide, but he's been particularly frustrating lately, and it will be good to look back at this post in a year and a half when I'm deciding whether or not to come back. How high does this rank on the abusive PI scale? Can one truly have both a productive graduate career and a reasonable lifestyle, or is it one or the other? I suspect I would be equally frustrated by a PI with no backbone. Feel free to discuss and vent for yourself if necessary.