Archive | November, 2010

New babies

12 Nov

A friend of mine (from primary school!) had her second baby a few weeks ago. Her first little boy was born just a few weeks before my girly, but she has well and truly beaten me to it with the second one! I need to send her something for the baby, and have been totally hopeless, not even having thought about it really until now. We also have another friend whose baby is due at the begining of december on my¬† lovely boy’s birthday. They are having a boy too, so that’s two bouy gifts to make. I have an idea for a quilt to make for one of them based on crazy mom quilts idea for triangle free zigzags. She makes squares pieced from two different¬† coloured rectangles, and it turns out that this simple block can make loads of different patterns!!

I have a Robert Kaufman jelly roll of muted solids, so I am going to pair the oranges, blues and greens with one each of the neutral colours, and have a go at that!! I have done the pairing of fabric, photos to follow soon.

On a totally different note, the garden is finished (for now!) The boy has done an excellent job of laying a patio infront of the outhouse using old bricks, left over slate and crazy paved stone in stripes. It sounds horrendous, I know, but it looks great!!

C x

To be (academic) or not to be (academic)

8 Nov

I think I am going to apply to an academic training job. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? In medicine there are the normal ‘clinical’ jobs that the majority of doctors do, which get your through all the junior house officer years (aka F1 and F2), senior house officer or basic specialty training jobs, now known as ST or CT 1 & 2, then the higher specialty training years once known as registrar jobs (and still mostly referred to the same way) officially called ST3-6 (or more depending on the specialty you choose).Then there are the academic jobs. That doesn’ mean you have to be especially clever to do them or anything like that. They are academic in the sense that you spend part of your time working with an academic institution more usually referred to as a university. In other words, you learn how to do reseach properly. You can do academic training jobs right from the outset in the foundation (F1 &2) jobs or step into academia later as I will be.

I have spent the past year doing a research fellowship, and this job will finish in August next year, hopefully culminating the acceptance by the university of my MD thesis, making me a doctor of medicine (!). That puts me in a slightly weird position in terms of applying for academic jobs at my stage of training. In a clinical sense I am pretty junior, having completed only my F1 & 2 years and part of the core surgical training CT1 year before going on maternity leave. So I will be applying for an academic core rotation at CT1 level. The anomaly occurs because I will already have a higher research degree (most people have a PhD rather than an MD, but they are similar). Traditionally the academic basic training jobs are pre-doctoral and the trainees spend three years working to win substantive funding for a piece of research which will culminate in a higher research degree such as a PhD. Post-doctoral people can work for funding towards post doctoral research, and this is a recognised use of the ACF (academic clinical fellow) posts, but it is not the norm. Paradoxically, I think that rather than putting you in an advantageous position when applying for academic jobs, as you might expect, previous research experience and higher research degrees might actually be a disadvantage as it pushes people out of their comfort zone in terms of how your training will take shape.

I have been in contact this week with a professor of surgery in the deanery I am planning to apply to (there are only a couple of surgical ACF jobs in the coutry, proabably fewer than 10 in total) and I get the feeling that he thinks I should just do normal training rather than going down the academic route…. He told me that they have admitted post-doc doctors to the programme before, but he had a PhD from a previous life, eg unrelated to medicine, and I really get the impression he’s not that keen on post-doc applicants. Maybe that’s just my imagination, and I don’t intend to let that stop me from applying, but it makes me wonder about how likely I am to get the job….

Well, I’ll keep you posted on whether I get an interview. The deadline for applications is December 3rd and interviews are at the end of January so it can’t be that long until I’ll know!!!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.