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Life as a PhD student

Today a little snapshot of life as a PhD student from Matt Stevens. Matt is a PhD student at the George Institute for Global Health, Australia, and is currently recruiting patients for his trial.

Ahh timing…. So it’s 8pm on a Wednesday and I’m still in the office. Been here since 6:30am and I’ve got at least half an hour to go. So, why am I still here you ask? Why am I writing this when I should be numbing my brain in front of the TV? It’s one of the many joys of trying to enrol participants.

I had an early start to the day, didn’t have too much to do but wanted to head off early in the afternoon. So, 3pm rolls around. Then, just before I head off I make the mistake of calling a potential participant to arrange a time to enrol them into my trial. It’ll only be five minutes I thought, most likely they won’t even pick up. Not only was I wrong about that but they were keen to be enrolled straight after work tonight! So I spend the next hour madly trying to organise that before running of to conduct the enrolment, however in doing so I had to use the accelerometer I was planning on using to conduct another enrolment tomorrow! So I start the next one charging and will have to drop back into pick it up later (Since I don’t come into the office on Thursdays). So, it’s 7:30pm and I’m back in the office (at least the enrolment went well) and about to head off. However I again make the mistake of thinking I’ll call a potential participant before I go (I’ve been trying to get in touch with him for a week with no luck) thinking there is no way he’ll actually pick up THIS time.

But, hey presto! He does! However he’s busy and would like me to call back in an hour…

He better pick up.