I was talking to J and H the other day. They were criticizing one of the (DDS, PhD) faculty members in that she didn’t look like a practitioner, but rather a hardcore researcher. As a researcher and a practitioner myself, I wonder how physical appearance gives clue to what you do.

R: what about me? Do you think I look like a researcher?

J: NOOOOO! (a solid No.) No way. I would never guess you are a dentist or a researcher.  Even so I know you are, you still don’t look like you are.

H: You look like you work in fashion, or work for a traveling magazine. You look like you travel around and take photographs for the living.

R: Hmm…you know, I kinda like these comments!

In fact what I like must have reflected how I look.  Those comments made me questioned myself how much I would really, really like to stay in academia.  I do like what I do, but of course, liking is not equal to being passionate. Come to think of it, I would never look at PubMed first thing in the morning like many other scientists (who I know) do. In fact, I would instead open the picture folders and edit them first thing in the morning.  (I have done that many times already.)  I could see myself spending forever time on gadgets and technology, but not sitting on the bench. Hmm…is it time to rethink and reconsider?


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