Posts Tagged ‘research’

Acknowledge is power

It’s a common enough thing, the dissertation defense. The seats are packed with students and faculty members, many of whom you haven’t seen in months. The air is crackling with excitement and anticipation. Today is the day that the student—your classmate, your colleague, your friend—becomes a doctor, and everybody knows it. The head of the student’s dissertation advisory committee stands up, introducing the proceedings and announcing the terms of the defense. Sure, it’s a reminder … Read More

The times, they are a-changin': When scientific research isn’t enough

I recently marked my four-year anniversary of starting graduate school. When I reflect on the years that I’ve spent here, embedded in the practice of science like a mosquito in amber, I’m reminded of a line from that Bob Dylan song: “Then you better start swimmin’ / Or you’ll sink like a stone / For the times they are a-changin’.” The times are a-changin’ indeed. The biggest thing I’ve learned from my experience here is that science … Read More

The White House reflections

I have been lucky to somehow accomplish a number of milestones in my lifetime: graduate college, enter medical school, build a company, spearhead a premiere medical technology conference, pen a blog with over 10,000 followers and, now, in what seems like the largest stroke of luck, receive an invitation from The White House, under the direction of President Barack Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), to assist in the newly launched Precision Medicine … Read More

Predicting the future of science and the Ph.D.

As a child, whenever somebody asked me about my future, what I planned on doing when I grew up, I already knew the answer: I was going to be a physician. I enjoyed medicine, I liked helping people, and doctors, as a whole, seemed confident and glamorous. Becoming a physician was a confluence of everything I loved and wanted in a career. The question wasn’t hard, and the answer never changed. Until, that was, I … Read More

Up a Wall Without a Paddle… Or Something Like That

I’m not crazy, but people have given me looks that suggest otherwise. These situations usually occur after I’ve mentioned I’m a graduate student. The probability of receiving the “look” increases when I say I’m in the Behavioral Neuroscience program, and it increases further when I explain that it will take 5-7 years to graduate. When I explain a post-doctoral fellowship is routine, the look is a near certainty. “Well, you’ll be able to help diagnose … Read More

Null Data, or What It Isn’t

Fourth year. It means different things to different people. Sometimes it means the end is in sight, you have a paper out and next year you will graduate. Sometimes it means that the end was in sight, but it has relocated somewhere on the map, you can’t find it, and you’ve stumbled into a very dark cavern where the walls are getting closer and closer as you move forward. And sometimes it just means you … Read More

I Am Bad at Science

  This was the conclusion I reached on Friday. What else could explain the fact that my previous experiment, after months of work, did not work, and my current experiment, designed to salvage that last project, is also not working? It had to be me. It is me.  I’m bad at science. There’s no other explanation. I told this to my PI in his office at 8:30 that morning while we perused my data, my … Read More

StudentSpeak

StudentSpeak

Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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