New Year, New Tricks…

For a range of reasons there were no posts on this blog in 2020. The main reason was that I’d felt less and less comfortable writing about anything a clinician academic. Because, I no longer felt like one. Not since 09/2019.

There. I’ve said it. Took me 16 months and a good dose of heavy duty coaching to be able to say it confidently. But now that I have, I am glad I have

There’s been plenty posts in this blog about the clinician academic identity. Questioning it, reflecting on, feeling uneasy about it. I’d also argue that our fear of losing that identity (or more precisely, losing the ”clinician” bit of the identity) is one of the most common topics people discuss. It’s also one of few areas where we can turn on one another – who is ”in” and who is ”out”? What is a proper clinician academic? And so on. You all know what I’m talking about.

It feels good not to have to worry about that anymore, and not to have to fear it losing it. For I cannot lose what I think I no longer have. It’s not been an easy process, and some sadness remains. And there’s of course a lot more I could – but I won’t. Maybe another time.

So what’s the tricks for 2021? Well, I’ve thought long and hard about archiving this blog. Put it in some dusty old corner of the World Wide Web that we can visit every now and then. But I’ve decided not to do that. Not yet anyway. Writing this blog, and chatting about it with others is simply too enjoyable to retire it. It gives a different format for our collective conversations. It’s an opportunity to share in a different way (guest posts remain very welcome!). And it helps me reflect on this strange world we live in.

I think we’ll let this blog evolve, grow and diversify – like a clinician academic would. We’ll hopefully have a next generation of ”proper” clinician academics who’ll want to post here. And I’m still fairly heavily involved in various strategic clinical academic developments – which might be fun to share.

And I think there’s a lot more to reflect on in the academic life. PhD and early post-docs are only a start, and the more of us progress ”on the other side of a PhD” the more we’ll need those subsequent options of that career direction demystified. There’ll be more and more of us reflecting on the further stages of clinical academic career. Including the side turns where we may have to radically change roles, and reframe identities.

Ultimately, I feel that all of us involved in this clinical academic business – with what ever roles we have – benefit from a shared space. So let’s see what tricks we’ll collectively come up with in 2021.

And if it all fails, a dusty archive is always still an option 😂.

What am I, and what should I do?

What am I? Where am I going? Am I actually achieving anything worth while? What should I be doing?

These questions have grown louder and louder in my mind over the past year, and as I recently read Jemma’s post it did not go un-noticed that some of these might be questions inherently built into being a clinical academic. So I thought I would share my ponderings of these questions, in what seems to have turned out a somewhat personal post. Continue reading