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Visiting PhD Student
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I decided to do this placement for its clinical and research nature as I would like to pursue both careers in the future. I had the possibility to undertake high quality research, but at the same time to attend neurological and neuropsychological assessments for clinical purpose. I believe that being exposed to different environments and institutions is very useful at this career stage.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Supervisor's research collaboration

Main responsibilities

My main responsibility was to retrospectively collect demographic, clinical and neuropsychological data by going through each patient medical records. I also had the possibility to attend neurological and neuropsychological assessments of some of these patients. Moreover, I presented my work to other researchers and clinicians from whom I received productive feedback. It was an excellent networking opportunity, which allowed me to improve my professional development by building relationships in another academic and clinical context.

Typical day

My typical day was composed of different activities. In the morning I would start by attending the memory clinic of my supervisor and collaborators. The rest of the day was committed to the research work. I would go through the clinical records of the patients involved in the research project and collect the data of interest. Occasionally, I would attend neurological assessments of hospitalised patients.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed the clinical features of my job. I expanded my knowledge on clinical and pharmacological aspects and interacted with trained neurologists. I also had direct contact with the patients and their relatives which I found a really enjoyable experience.

Challenging aspects

Overall, it was a very stimulating professional and intellectual experience. I had the possibility to collect a very large database, which will be part of my PhD thesis. The main challenge was to go through the patients’ medical records, but I was trained and supported by an experienced team.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I used several skills learned from my course, among which time and project management, theoretical knowledge of the subject, and research methods. Due to my involvement in a multidisciplinary research group in Sheffield, I have developed good teamwork skills, which was a crucial skill to have in order to succeed in my placement.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

I believe that this experience was very useful for the progress of my PhD, but also to develop insights about future career perspectives. I collected data for my thesis and got a valuable feedback from other experts in the field with whom I was able to discuss about my work. In the meantime, I was exposed to the everyday life of a neurology clinic. This experience helped me in understanding I would like to pursue a career as a clinician along with scientific research.

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Form completed: 21 Sep 2017

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