Dear current and former grad students - Can you tell me about your doctoral experience? Was it worth it? Did you actually get to research something you are interested in?

I am vacillating. I'm an assistant professor in communications now, but I hate where I work. I've been applying everywhere but because I don't have a Ph.D., I don't make it past the first line (despite years of professional experience in the field.)

But in talking to different programs, it doesn't really seem like I'll be able to research my specific interest (medical communications specifically obesity studies.) I'll have to glom onto whatever advisor I get.

Plus, I'm an olds (40s). I do not know if I can write in the academic style as I find it incredibly overwritten and purposefully inaccessible. (why, why? why wouldn't you want the general public to understand your work?)

Thoughts? What made your experience good or bad? Did you actually use it?

edited to add field and interest area