Hi guys, I took the non-trad path (32 now) working as research assistant in the lab I was supposed to leave ~4 years ago to start MD or MD/PhD. Got stuck because work got delayed due to various lab issues, and so did the papers. Was too entrenched in research for my own good. I do have several publications, and am almost done with 2 more first authorship manuscripts and I want out from this lab (low pay, bad environment, and all the other usual stuff).
Since I don't have a good advisor and never had one, I wanted to give this forum a shot for some possible advice. I basically want to quit as soon as the papers are submitted and concentrate on my school applications. At the same time, even if I get in this year, I will have at least one year where I need to work and making extra money is going to be probably one of the more important goals. I have developed an expertise in neuroscience, but have also learned very advanced statistics (hierarchical models, SPSS, some SAS) where I've proven in certain instances to know more than the statisticians with MPH in our university. Maybe I'm nuts, but I love stats. So given the interest in medicine, skills in stats and neuroscience, and lack of formal training or certificates (only have BS), what would you recommend as a good next stepping stone before I proceed to graduate school? Would publications with aforementioned stats be sufficient to prove to potential employers my knowledge? Also, would you recommend that I pursue working in a new lab with a higher rank of r. associate (and much higher salary since I'm 30%+ underpaid according to my research) or should I just look for an industry position instead to acquire completely new set of experiences and go deeper into stats?
I am aware of ageism as well, so I know I'm running out of time. My main consolation is that I wasn't wasting my years just doing work, but gained enough skills to match a PhD, per one of my previous PIs. Of course, that hasn't been enough to gain sufficient recognition, at least in this lab. So I'm trying to tap into that a little before getting into school. I'm possibly skipping a dual degree to save time, unless I can arrange with the university to finish the PhD portion in under three years, upon admission.