I left the first part of my conversations with surgical alumni feeling relieved. My angst during graduate school was normal, as was my current contrarian career approach. Still, the road ahead seems more than daunting—how can one manage an 80 (theoretically) hour week and maintain one’s curiosity? How can one balance getting things done and being creative? How did these folks make it through? Turns out the answer was simpler than I thought: hard work and determination—no overthinking, brooding, or rumination. In talking to alumni, it became painfully clear that there simply was no other option. Those that responded, those that made it through, the surgeon-scientists, etc. simply put their head down and worked. They wouldn’t have it any other way and there was no other way. These alumni’s thoughts about their time after the MSTP, during residency, and as surgical attendings bear out this reality.