Down to earth question here - seems like as a community we obsess to no end on how to get into the best residency so that we can get into the best cards fellowship at UCSF/MGH/BWH/Hopkins/etc. . . My simple question is, is it worth it? I mean, what is the light at the end of the tunnel? Junior faculty with a starting salary barely six figures? Just to endure the politics of academia so that in another 7-10 yrs I can make tenure and be earning half of my colleagues who did "lesser" fellowships and went into PP? Do these fellowships open up any other doors besides a long career of being stuck in the lab and underpaid until you retire? Help me understand why I struggle to do all of this when my non-medicine peers only seem to keep advancing in their careers. I love research and the academic setting, but there's only so much I can take. I mean, I know i should just keep my head down and be grateful to have the "privilege" of being in academia but . . . .