As I slogged through my cancer biology PhD I felt a constant and vague unease about the future: what was I going to “do,” clinically? My PhD was coming along, as well as it could, and return to clinic seemed ever closer. I knew I wanted to be involved in the care of cancer patients; but, I wanted to approach the problem from a different angle and to use my time in another way. To these ends, I explored oncology-related surgical subspecialties during my PhD. Spending more time with each of these services led to my current passion for otolaryngology, which is what I intend to match into next year. However, now that I’m sold on a surgical career, I’m faced with the daunting prospects of life as a surgeon-scientist. There’s a clear need for basic science research in otolaryngology, especially when it comes to tumor biology. I am well positioned to make immediate impacts on people’s lives, surgically, and to make lasting contributions to the field by leading a molecular biology lab. In order learn more about what’s ahead of me, I reached out to alumni from our program who are completing or have completed surgical residencies.