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Launch new experiences by heeding the gentle call

Aside from professional enlightenment and success, pursuing a seemingly outlandish path with your medical degree--such as becoming an astronaut--can provide extraordinary personal rewards. "[At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)], you work with bright, interesting people with varied backgrounds--and NASA has, as they say, the best toys in the world," says former astronaut F. Andrew Gaffney, MD,1 associate dean for clinical affairs and chief quality and patient safety officer at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. "Being there is about what you’d imagine. It’s spectacular. If you get the chance, do it."