Why I don't work on healthcare, on medical devices or in big companies

Silicon Valley is very well-known to the outside world as an innovation hub. Integrated circuits, computers, the Internet, Web 2.0. There is also the highly lucrative medical device industry that doesn't seem to get as much attention from the outside observer. I have some experience in the field and will share my views a bit.

Why don't I work on healthcare, on medical devices or in big companies?

There are three main things I don't like:
  1. At least in America, a lot of healthcare and high-tech medical devices address problems that stem from an unhealthy lifestyle, e.g. smoking, drinking, eating too much, eating too much junk. For the obese who need gastric bypass surgery, for instance, Intuitive Surgical has remarkable technology to perform non-invasive surgeries. Although the daVinci  is certainly valuable to society, it's still not a real solution to the problem. I would prefer to work on preventative measures, even if they may appear less profitable.
  2. I do not enjoy sitting in a cubicle or being in a setting without windows. This problem is exacerbated in the medical device industry, where secrets need to be kept a tight box (along with the people working on it).
  3. Even to start a career off of, I do not want to be one of the hardworking ants taking orders from above.  This may work for some people, but I believe that my abilities would not be fully utilized.  I prefer to be a hardworking ant agreeing on goals and setting a direction with the boss.  This is especially important since I think deeply about the big picture before working on the details to reach the final goal.  In other words, I need to partake in high-level decision making.
For these reasons, I have embarked on the path to earn a doctorate degree in photovoltaics.  Energy is the key to our wealth and health.  Nations that are healthy typically use more energy.  I am seldom at my desk.  Instead, I am
  1. In class learning, improving my understanding of the world to make better decisions.
  2. Meeting with my professor to discuss the progress and direction of the work.
  3. In the lab working on technology I think will help the world.
  4. Or in some part of the world sharing and spreading knowledge, e.g. at conferences.
Beyond a PhD, even if I never actually complete it, I want to commercialize products if I have the right technology.  Photovoltaics, clean water, and recycling.  I also want to teach, whether it be at a elementary school, high school or college.

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