What am I? Where am I going? Am I actually achieving anything worth while? What should I be doing?
These questions have grown louder and louder in my mind over the past year, and as I recently read Jemma’s post it did not go un-noticed that some of these might be questions inherently built into being a clinical academic. So I thought I would share my ponderings of these questions, in what seems to have turned out a somewhat personal post. Continue reading
Nine years ago I attended a big professional conference at which I met a pair. That pair changed my life and career in profound ways, and today has in many ways been a culmination of that change.
I’ve told this story many times, but never this publicly. Now it feels apt to tell.
“In coming to the end of my internship I have produced some suggestions as to why one might not want to enter the clinical academic world.” Continue reading
Getting into research is often more like a long gentle slide than a single step. There is plenty of time to wonder if you should be on that slide or jump off, and whether or not you like the look of the landing spot.
I believe supporting and mentoring others are key clinical academic tasks. I view them as favours that people have done for me, and that I seek to pass forward. But it regularly bemuses me how people receive these favours… Continue reading
It’s the fellowship season (read ‘panic’) again. I get at least an email per day asking for advice. This year much of the emails’ content has been about how to choose the host university and supervisors. Continue reading
I feel we’ve sold PhD as an idea to AHPs. I also feel the next challenge is for AHPs en masse to figure out what a PhD is, and what to do with people who have them.
I feel that seeking to do a PhD is now largely viewed positively among AHPs, and there is a genuine acceptance that having a PhD is (somehow) a positive thing. I still do hear some occasional mocking, and some unwelcome comments, e.g. about people with PhDs having a different brain size than the rest of the humans, but in my experience people making these comments are now a minority and are seen as making a fool of themselves more than representing a condoned majority view.
What seems to have changed much less is how AHPs understand what a PhD is (what does it make the person competent for), and how we can make use of people with PhDs to advance our practice, knowledge and impact.
Over the next 12 months I’d like to take further steps to change this. To move more towards a point where people actually understand what PhDs are good for (and what they are not). To this end, I will run some dedicated posts to explore the question of “What do people with PhDs do once they finish their PhD – and what more could they do given a chance?”.
I am particularly hoping to publish posts by people who are at least 4-5 years beyond completing a PhD (but pre-Professors). That is because I want to focus on the experiences of people who are in full swing of hard core crafting of contributions to AHP practice, science and future (and skip the early post-PhD haze phase….).
If this is you, and you’d be willing to write a post – please do email/tweet me and let’s make a plan for your contribution!
Happy, and very exciting, 2017 to everyone! ☺
Guest post by Michael Sykes. I ask myself, ‘OK, so you have had your NIHR Fellowship interview; regardless of the outcome, what have you learnt over the last couple of years that might help others?’. It is likely that I will look back at this in a few years and think how little I knew. Just as I now look at who I was when I first started my clinical academic journey all those years ago! Continue reading
Guest post by Pamela Jacobsen: Fellowship interviews tend to get burned into my memory for all the wrong reasons. One moment from an interview a few years ago has always stuck in my mind with terrible clarity. Continue reading
Take all the (~100) people who have talked to me at any length about fellowships over the past five years. So far, nine of them have completed a draft of an application. Six have submitted their applications. Two have ultimately got fellowships. What’s special about those who do succeed?