hemlor

Marco Cardelli, "Almost" PhD

I am a professional student. I completed my BSc in genetics a long long time ago at Western University (in a very far far away land, called Canada), my MSc in human genetics at McGill University (in a land called Quebec, which is technically Canada), and now completing my PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto (yep, still Canada). So, you see, I wasn't kidding, I am a pro at being a student. I also enjoy sports and coffee a lot. I like coffee so much that I decided to roast my own beans.

The “Other” Kind of Doctor

I don’t want people to think being a PhD candidate is this awful experience, so let me start with some positives. The environment that I work in promotes creativity, imagination, self direction, and cutting edge research. However, it also has its drawbacks, and as most PhD’s do, I will dwell on the negatives and share them with you. It is always an entertaining process trying to explain what I do to family/friends/acquaintances. Here is an example: them: so, you’re going to be a doctor eh? me: well, yeah, but not the one you’re thinking, I’m doing a PhD. them: huh? Oh, that’s not like a doctor doctor? me: no, I do research them: On what? me: It’s a bit complicated and boring, its just biology stuff them: what kind of stuff? it sounds pretty cool… me: [big sigh]…well, I am looking at a nuclear recept…. them: …………[BSoC]…….. This is the Blank Stare of Confusion. I notice it immediately, so to remedy this I just tell them that I take care of mice. Usually ends the conversation right there. PhD training is a quite different exercise than training to become a medical doctor. There really is no structure or set timetable. In fact, you don’t even have to show up all the time. The project is driven and shaped by the results…Ah yes the R word, merely a rumour to...