I’m not sure this will be my most exciting blog post ever, but I thought I would try recording what I do for today. I haven’t blogged for a little while as things have been a bit hectic, so this is to tide you over till the next big thing! I’ll publish this now (about 15:30) and add some more bits later on.
6:30 – woken up by the usual ‘toddler’ alarm clock with extremely cold feet wriggling in to bed
8:30 – off to work. I usually cycle, but I have some things to do after work so I’m driving today.
9:00 – tinkering with data back-up system on my computer. I’ve migrating part of my back-up to the university which is proving a little challenging. Having at least 4 copies of all my file in at least two places is the guide I’m trying to follow. I don’t want to lose any of the precious data collected over the past 6 years!
9:45 – coffee and planning the rest of the day.
10:00 – having planned the rest of the day my phone reminds me I have to ring a patient’s relative. This takes about half an hour. As I’m writing the letter to the GP/Patient a psychiatrist calls about someone I saw in a recent memory clinic. I need to fax him a report on a patient, but our secretary is on annual leave. So I spend till 11:15 going over the hospital, switching on an NHS computer (10+ mins), printing the report and faxing it. Why, oh why did the government scrap the NHS spine to link all patient notes!!!
11:30 decide to write this blog.
11:32 back to work… about an hour behind my planned schedule now. Ah well. Killing two birds with one stone here though! Preparing figures from analysis of fMRI functional connectivity in my PSP, CBD, PD and control subjects for a meeting on Thursday and at the same time getting them ‘thesis ready’.
12:05 grab some lunch at my desk and catch up on the reaction to the F1 at the weekend. Out of all them I feel sorry for Rosberg, he should have gone past Hamilton but was, in relative terms, pretty chilled about it. Agreed to help out taking blood for a psychiatry trial on Thursday as they’re desperate – feeling a bit too generous today!
12:17 back to work. Doing something I’ve been putting off for a while! Writing part of a book chapter with my supervisor. I’ve got a fair bit of dredging up of my memory on basal ganglia anatomy to do. One hour to learn it all and get something down on paper…here goes!
13:55 – well, I’ve made a start on that. Got slightly side-tracked talking to a colleague about his weekend on-call. Sounds like it was a busy one! I’ve got a DVLA form to fill in for a patient. I should probably get that done now. I think I need another coffee first. I’ll take a quick picture of the desk so you get an idea of how much it needs tidying! Just taken a minute to check there is no identifiable patient information on the picture. Confidentiality is so important to how we handle data and pictures. There has to be a balance struck between data access and confidentiality, but silly leaks like putting a patient’s name on a picture would not be good! Found some ‘pandan’ cake in the kitchen. Not sure what it is, but it’s like a green sponge. Very nice!
14:12 – next thing on the list is to peer review a paper for a journal. It’s a fairly well known journal, so I want to do a decent job. Unfortunately it’s not such a great paper. There are some good bits in it, but the whole thing doesn’t really hold together. Hopefully I can write something that is going to be constructive to the authors without being that ‘horrible review number 3’ who rejects your paper for seemingly no good reason! I started the review yesterday, so I’m hoping I can get it finished now.
15:03 – Getting there with the review, though I’ve got a bit stuck wading through the methods section. It’s sometimes hard to critique papers where you do not have direct experience of the exact methods that have been used. Taken a quick break to contact the PSP association to see if they’ve signed up to the All Trials Campaign. Given the disappointing results of the recent Davunetide trial in PSP (see my previous blog), I think it’s important we get all the data out in the open to help plan future studies. I’m not sure whether it’s the sort of thing they do, but I think it’s important! The BMA have just signed up, so that’s good news.
15:29 – exciting email for the day! I replied to an email last week or so asking for people to get involved with the brilliant Naked Neuroscience podcast and I’ve got a reply! I’ve been asked to pick a poster for from the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium, which is tomorrow. Seeing as I’m going anyway and have my own poster there (don’t worry, I’ll choose someone else’s!), then it sounds like a fun thing to do. OK, back to that review. I feel I’m making a bit of progress, but it’s slow work still. Another half an hour and if it’s not done and do something else and come back to it later.
16:02 – OK, I’ll come back to the review later! Been asked for emergency computing advice from one of the secretaries. Seems like her desktop has finally given up the ghost. I’ll see what I can do! Jack of all Trades…
1620 – It’s just about working! But slow. After a bit of advice collecting data for annual ethics reports (and picking up a cup of tea!) it’s back to my desk. Let’s see if I can get on with some of my core research now. Python scripts, R plots and MRI data here we come!
17:37 – just packing up to head home. Running backup scripts (see this morning!). Thought I’d check a few emails and find I’m locked out. There has been quite a few attempted hack attempts and phishing emails recently at the med school, so I’m a bit concerned. Hopefully it’s just a blip.
17:46 Off to pick up a few things for home, and hopefully back home in time for bathtime/bedtime for the aforementioned toddler. Still got some work to do this evening. Firstly, preparing my poster and bits for tomorrow’s neuroscience symposium, and some things to show my supervisor. And also finishing off that review of course…
20:35 – back to work! Some days are unusual and today I had seabass for tea. That’s highly unusual! Managed to just get home for bed time. I’ll prepare a few things for showing ‘the boss’ tomorrow and then see where we are. Emails are working again! Phew.
22:04 – a bit of a dilemma, but I’ve decided to listen to the cricket. I fear we’re going to get roundly beaten, but there you go! Anyhow, been spending some time tabulating result from earlier today and arranging them with the relevant images. It takes a bit of time to get results presented properly so they are easy to understand at a glance. That’s the aim! For my thesis I’m using latex which takes a lot of the hassle out of organising and arranging figures and tables.
23:16 – reviewing some results from a couple of days ago and tabulating them. Some encouraging results. It’s nice when the results speak for themselves! But again, it’s important to spend a bit of time presenting the results well. As I’m going through, I’m thinking about how this will fit in two a couple of papers I’m planning to write in the next week or two. And, at the same time I’m making sure that the tables will slot nicely in to my thesis. England still batting, although we’ve just lost the first wicket of the day, but overall encouraging news. I’m not so sure about Michael Vaughan trying to convince to convince the world that tea was first grown in Yorkshire!
23:33 – that’s probably enough for today! Didn’t get round to finishing that review, which is frustrating. I should be able to get it done on Wednesday. Anyhow, it’s an earlyish start tomorrow, to be in the centre of Cambridge at 8am to set up my poster. Congratulations if you’ve made it this far reading through! Today’s been a fairly typical day really, not too busy but fairly varied. I’ve made some progress on a few different projects, so that’s encouraging. I hope at least that this post gives a bit of an insight in to the life of an academic clinician. I’ve just got one more email to send tonight. To a patient I will promise to ring on Wednesday. And then, to bed. Goodnight!