Saturday, June 15, 2013


So it has been a big week for me in a way.  I had the viva for my MD thesis on Monday crowning nearly five years of research work.  My examiners liked my thesis (much to my surprise) and it will be accepted by the University.  An achievement.

Does that make me an academic? I have 3 degrees in science, medicine and research.  I do clinical work and I have clinical qualifications.  I work hard and I am probably a bit addicted to it.  Work is almost an end in itself.  Money is a happy side effect.  I have published a few useful scientific papers.  I hope they are useful as other authors have cited them but it is difficult to be sure.  I have made tentative moves to do more academic work.

How do you know when you have achieved enough? When can you sit back and relax? What drives you on?  Sometimes I feel like I have blinked and 15 years have vanished.  At times my life has been a whirlwind.

I like helping people when I can and I like to have an interesting life.  I get bored easily and I like a bit of variety in my life.  Research and teaching give me a bit of variety.  Clinical work is enjoyable too but burnout is always possible and important to avoid.  

I honestly don't know why I work so hard.  I do it because it's easy and it gives me something to do.  Work means that I don't need to think too much about anything else and I can feel like I am doing something worthwhile.  I guess I'm lucky to have a job that lets me do that.  I have a job that sometimes lets me feel like I'm achieving something.