i’ve almost resigned myself to not finishing my phd this year

Almost is the key word here.  Almost, but not quite because I really don't want to take an extra year.  I really don't.  But it's looking more and more like I don't have much choice here.  Why?

Well, because: 

(1) I'm terrified that I will fail my quals.  And evil committee member doesn't help my confidence one bit.  Neither does the random committee shuffle.  Or the fact that I haven't really studied for over two weeks now.  The holidays are really a horrible time to have to be studying.  I'm so distracted by everything even though I really hate the holidays anyway.  Hating the holidays doesn't mean I can ignore them.  It doesn't mean I don't have to find presents for my evil in-laws.  It doesn't mean that I'm not tempted by all of the sales (to buy presents for myself, of course!).

(2) My last experiment failed and the animal I'm using in my model isn't going to be available until late January.  Which means no experiments until then and still no working model.  If I want to finish this year, I will have to finish by July.  Hmm…  No model and no way to do experiments until February leaves me with only five months to finish my project.  I may be smart, but even I can't pull something like that off.  This issue is more complicated by the fact that I technically don't have to start in July along with the rest of the third year medical students.  I could start later in the year if I finished by then.  But I want to start with everyone else because if I don't I'll have to make up required rotations during the time when I should be doing away rotations and that won't be good.  So maybe it's better that I don't rush this anyway and just take another year.  But a part of me can't swallow that.  A whole extra year.  Is it worth it to give myself the best chance of getting into the residency program that I want?

Not that it seems like I have a choice anyway.  But it feels like failure to have to take an extra year.  And I've never failed before in my life.  That's why I can't quite accept it even though I'm pretty much resigned to it. 

Related posts:

  1. yet another failed experimentI spent all day at our animal surgery place doing the experiment that was postponed since I sprained my ankle way back in July only to meet with failure yet again.  So why do I care when my experiments have failed so many times before?  Well, because this failure signifies the end of my thesis project.  The end because my project is flawed and just plain doesn't work.  The other failures had to do with setting up the model and with dosing.  But this time, our model worked perfectly and we used a guaranteed-to-work dose of the stuff I'm testing and it still didn't work.  Not at all.  Nothing.  If the stuff I'm testing doesn't work, then who cares whether I'm able to set up the model to test it in?  They don't give PhDs for failures.  I'm so screwed....
  2. sometimes i REALLY wonder why i’m doing this md/phd thingNote the emphasis on "really." Because I wonder why I'm doing this every day. No. Every waking moment of everyday. No. Even in my sleep. I want to be done with this so badly that I dream about being on rotations and how great that is (which it isn't, or so I hear). I kid you not. And nothing reminds me more of why I hate this whole PhD thing than having to give a talk about all of the progress that I failed to make since the last time we all got together (which led to this brilliant post about my lack of progress) to rub our fellow MD/PhDers' faces in just how much more brilliant we are than them. I'm sure I'm such an easy target now that it's not even any fun anymore. I'd love to talk about something besides my experiments not working. In fact, I'd even settle for something I actually believed in even if it doesn't work. Because back during my un-jaded days as an undergrad in my major professor's lab, I actually believed in his work. I don't today. The only thing I've learned from him is how not to do research and how not to be a mentor. I guess I've also learned how to bluff and pretend that I've done a lot more work than I really have. How else do you explain the fact that I haven't yet been reprimanded by the powers-that-be for my complete and utter lack of...
  3. wish me luck!After a whole month of scheduling difficulties, we're finally doing another experiment tomorrow.  So wish me luck because I really need it because if I don't get this model worked out soon, I'm so not going to finish my PhD by July (which is when I'm supposed to return to med school) and I just might go insane if I have to prolong this whole PhD thing by another year. ...

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