Do you ever have a sudden realisation that scares you and stresses you out? For example, the other day I realised that the OSFAs are eight months away, EIGHT months (sorry third years, they are approaching fast). The STP is an intense programme and although a lot of things are stressful and tiring we need to understand where to draw the line to not overdo it. It was Stress Awareness Week when I started writing and as a fellow overthinker, I thought I could share my tips of trying to overcome stress and when/how to ask for help. Workload and time constraints have reduced my free time and motivation to sit down and write though so I do apologise for the recent lack of posts.
Have you heard other STPs and training officers mention electives and not sure what they are? The elective rotation or just elective is a fantastic opportunity to leave your department for 4-6 weeks, go learn something new, experience a different environment and broaden your horizons. This can be anywhere in the world ( might depend on department and your finances) or it can even be down the corridor in a different department. The world is your oyster as they say. Last week I started my elective and decided to share my experience with you. Hopefully, I can give you a weekly roundup of what I’ve learned and some cool pictures of all the new places I visit.
This week, I can officially call myself a third year STP. This calls for celebration, excitement and possibly panic that there’s just a year of training left, a year left for the OneFile progress dial to reach 100% and less than a year till the OSFAs. But what it also calls for, is time for reflection.
It has been a year since this tweet, a year since my little idea with Jes became a reality and we shared STP Perspectives with the world. And what a year this has been. Looking back on it, starting this blog was definitely the right thing to do and here’s why.
I am currently sat in a hotel lobby in Basel, Switzerland, after a cancelled flight on the way back from the ISMB/ECCB 2019 (biggest biannual computational biology conference for you non-bioinformaticians out there). As my second international conference and the second time presenting my research in such an event, I thought I should kill my newly acquired free time by sharing my international experience with you.
Hello there lovely STP friends. I imagine you’re all feeling very stressed about your OSFAs right now, as they loom menacingly on the horizon. If you’re fairly chilled out about them, congratulations! I don’t really have anything else I can offer you in this post, so probably best for you to stop reading and go and spend your time a bit more wisely.
So the wait is over. You finally got an offer for the Scientist Training Programme!
All the hard work has paid off and you are a few months away from joining our very exclusive club of Healthcare Scientists. I bet you are excited, and so are we. Excited to welcome you to our Trusts and help you start your healthcare journey.
Congratulations, you have made it to the STP Interviews. Be proud of yourself, this is a great accomplishment! But even if you didn’t, if you are on the reserve list, don’t lose hope there’s still a chance, if not that, there’s always next year.
Think of the following scenario. You are in the pub, having a drink and meet some new people. The first thing they ask is, “So, what do you do?”. What do you reply to this? How do you put words together that would make sense to the person in front of you? I usually have a mild panic trying to assess the level of biological understanding of the person in front of me and lead with “I am training to be a clinical scientist, at the genetics laboratory in our hospital”. I then wait to see if they ask follow-up questions or are just satisfied with moving on to pub talk.