Posted by: Adam Pattison Rathbone5 JUL 2014
Pharmacy PhD Myth busting
Myth Number 1
Rolling up to summer, many people will think that PhD students all over the country will be breaking up for months of break and relaxation – this, however, is not the case. Research postgraduates don’t break up for summer. We carry on plodding on with our research. Also, academics don’t exactly get three months off either – when the undergraduate students go home, the academics have to crack on preparing for next September.
Myth Number 2
Good research is all about sample size. No. No it isn’t. In fact, some of the most influential research that has helped us understand experiences of human life has been qualitative – that is to say, statistics, power calculations and laboratories are not the be all and end all of scientific research. Granted I am biased, as my own research is qualitative, but really, quantitative research is just one paradigm of a multitude of scientific methods. For more information on the flaws of science, please go watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg. Hopefully it will help you broaden your mind about ‘science’ and appreciate that knowledge is more than p<0.05.
Myth Number 3
A PhD is about lab research, data analysis and statistics. The ‘Ph’ in PhD stands for philosophy, not pharmacy. The research world will acknowledge, appreciate and accept that as a pharmacist you bring something different to the table, but it is by no means an excuse or replacement for being able to hold your own when it comes to philosophical positions and concepts. Just because your education and career has so far been rooted by a particular philosophical grounding, doing a PhD gives you a chance to explore other potential philosophies that might be employable, and actually help you understand your patients. Equally, no particular philosophical stand point has precedence over another – this links back to Myth Number 2.
To be continued…