To PhD or not Phd?

by Hans on 2006/08/12

I’ve been asked on several occasions about studying ehealth/health informatics at the graduate level (i.e., masters or doctoral/PhD degrees). Some seem to be interested in advancing their own knowledge so that they can use their new found knowledge and skills to further their career in the workplace. For those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD), here’s a great resource that may help determine if the PhD/doctoral degree is right for you (http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/dec/essay.phd.html)

The information is provided by Purdue University and seems to be written with computer science students in mind, but the concepts seem applicable to other disciplines. Since I’m currently going through the PhD progress, I would have to say that this degree is not for everyone. You may have the skills and talent to complete the PhD, but all of the other aspects of the degree may not be a good “fit” for you. One thing that I’ve learned is that completing a PhD is like a marathon (not that I’ve ever run or completed one). The journey is quite lonely, as you only have yourself to get everything done. Basically, you have to love your topic so much that you are willing to forego other opportunities (a night out, vacations, relaxation, etc) so that you can work on your research. Usually, this means reading the latest journal articles, preparing a manuscript for publication, reviewing your data, or just thinking about your topic.

I’ve been thinking about a post about possible career options for those interested in ehealth/health informatics, so I’ll try and get something written up for the near future.

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