Dr Lynn Bassett
I was one of the first PhD Palliative Care cohort. The blended-learning model offered me the opportunity for doctoral study. However, distance learning has its challenges; it demands self-motivation and determination in a process that is conducted, mostly, alone. Autumn Academies provided oases for networking and peer support and I value greatly the firm friendships made across international and interdisciplinary boundaries.
A PhD is a long haul. For me, who embarked on the programme research-naïve, every step of the way took far longer than I could have foreseen. Setting aside a place and time for study was essential and, even then, life found ways of intruding. At other times, the PhD took over; sharing the journey involved sacrifice for my husband too. Finding a balance, realistic scheduling and supervisor support kept me on track.
Ultimately, for me, my PhD was a vocation. During the times when I longed to give up, I heard the calling, through prayer and scripture, to carry on. In the last year, I emerged with a new thirst for excellence, greater humility, clarity of thought and confidence in my thesis. The persistence and hard work paid off; I have achieved, I have grown, I am changed.