Part of any PhD program is the requirement to teach. This seems normal when you consider in many disciplines a PhD is what qualifies you to teach at the college level.  It also seems normal when you consider that many PhD trained individuals will do research at academic centers and so have the dual role of adding to the common knowledge (research) and passing on that knowledge (teaching).  At my university they refer to this as scholarship, and include training in education as part of the PhD curriculum. I’ve completed all my coursework and moved into candidacy, which means I’ve completed my education training and canRead More →

My semester has ended, which is good because so many things on the website have been neglected during this round of classes.  For those who are new to the blog, I’ve just completed my second year in a PhD Program in Nursing.  The second year is a bit more intense.  In addition to classes I have the expectation that I will have a grant submitted for my dissertation research and my dissertation proposal accepted this summer.  I’m progressing well on both fronts, so no worries.  But I wanted to share a few reflections for those who have not yet begun their training. One of the reasonsRead More →

Last week my class performed a mock review of our class projects.  The class projects are sample grants we might submit to fund our research.  The writing process is challenging, with only a few pages to make your case, proving the topic is important, the study you’ve designed will answer the question, and you are the researcher to do this study. This is just part of the research process, and is so difficult that in addition to having several “authors” for any grant, the faculty and staff do mock reviews before they are submitted to identify additional changes.  Even then, a good “score” is stillRead More →

I am happy to say I have survived my first week of coursework. I am also happy to say that I am (so far) enjoying the coursework. I had fully expected the program to be rigorous – research can be difficult work.  I was not expecting the program to be so challenging to my understanding so quickly. Challenging? Yes.  I had in my mind a concept of research from my MPH, and I understood the parts of a study and how to put it together.  But I am getting the impression that is the work of a technician really.  A researcher starts several steps backRead More →

This week I have been sharing some of the harder lessons I had to learn to become a midwife.  The value of humility is perhaps the hardest one I faced. I thought I did approach birth with humility.  I believed I understood the process and knew that the best course of action was to let the labor take it’s course.  Yet, at the same time I failed to see how I approached birth with arrogance. When I would hear labor stories, I would decide for myself what doctors, midwives, doulas and mothers had done wrong despite not being present for the labor. I had answersRead More →

I’ve been ignoring you…sort of.  I had to get through my final exams and the the last week of school.  Then I was visiting family out of state which, despite my best intentions on every trip, is NOT a place for me to accomplish any work.  Admittedly, I have been home and without classes for two weeks. But something unexpected happened to me…I had to transition to non-student life. It wasn’t unexpected that I would need to transition, besides, I’ve done this a few times before.  The joke at our house is that I keep graduating because I’m good at it. What was unexpected, at least toRead More →

This week I completed my last final exam and submitted my last paper.  I have completed all requirements for both degrees and within a few days will be officially graduated. What a strange feeling – to be done with school but not yet completed.  Before I can work, I need to pass the certifying examinations. At least to work clinically I need to pass the certifying examinations and then wait for the state to license me. I finished my last nursing class and took my final exam in May.  I’m not saying all the information is out of my head, but I am saying a review before the examRead More →

My nursing school is hosting information about alternative breaks for student nurses thIs week. These are awesome opportunities for students with international aspirations to get their feet wet. The school organizes the trip, and the students often travel for a reduced rate and can use financial aid to pay the student portion. At my school, both undergrad and graduate students are welcome. The roles send responsibilities are different, to match the growing skills. If you are in s university program, check to see if alternative breaks are offered.Read More →

I was reminded of a great resource for the US today when one of the collaborators gave a lecture in my HIV in Public Health class – have I mentioned how much I love studying at Emory? The resource is AIDSVu, an interactive US map that lets you investigate the spread of HIV by state or county.  Why is this a great resource?  Because you might be surprised at just how much of the US is affected by HIV, or by what parts are affected. For those who want to be involved in working with the most vulnerable populations, you don’t need to work overseas.Read More →

My clinical time this semester has been at an HIV clinic.  I finished my last “official” day at the HIV clinic today.  I still have two optional days I plan to go, and I cannot believe how much I learned through this clinical.  I started thinking I just needed to get an understanding of what HIV care entailed.  But three months later, I have to admit I love it.  I love the complexity of the patient’s issues.  I love that visits are scheduled for half an hour to really allow time to deal with real problems.  I just don’t love how much I still feelRead More →