Saturday, 24 August 2013

Master's Defense: Complete!

Hi everyone,

I've been talking about starting a blog for a while now, and now that I'm starting med school I feel like I actually have something interesting to write about. I'll be blogging my way through the next three crazy years of learning to be a doctor, talking about whatever is on my mind at the moment. At this point, I figure the only people who will read this are family and close friends who actually care what I'm up to, but when I was applying to med school I read any med student blog I could find, so who knows? I may have some pre-med visitors down the line.

The title of this blog, 'From Bones to Bandages', describes my shift from bioarchaeology (a fancy way of saying that I study bones, mostly from archaeological (aka old) contexts) to the world of medicine. For the past two years, I've been working on a Master's degree in bioarchaeology, and I'm proud to say that yesterday, with three days to spare before starting med school orientation, I successfully defended my Master's thesis.

What, you may ask, is a thesis defense? Well, in my program, which was two years long, we spend the first year doing coursework and preliminary research for our particular research project. The second year is devoted solely to conducting our own original research and writing the results up into a thesis, which can be anywhere from 70-125 pages before appendices, etc (I think mine came in at around 114 pages, over 150 with appendices). At the end of the two years, we have to defend our thesis in front of our advisory committee, which consists of two faculty members within our department and one faculty member from another department. The actual defense is about two hours long, and consists of sitting in a room with your three-person committee, a thesis chair, and your supervisor, while you're grilled on your research during two question periods (to start, each committee member gets 15 minutes to question you, then there's a second round where they each get 10 minutes to question you). After the question periods are over, you're asked to leave the room while the committee decides whether or not you've passed the defense. I'm happy to report that I passed with only very minor revisions! Revisions which I should probably be working on now, but I decided to start this blog instead, haha. So, in about a week my thesis will be published online for all to see (but in all honesty it's probably pretty boring for those of you who aren't bioarchaeologists, so I promise not to make any of you read it).

So, with two days to spare, I finished my Master's, and am moving on to new things. It's going to be a crazy ride, and I can't wait to get started.


  1. Welcome to the blogging world! Found your blog through Asystole is the Most Stable Rhythm blog. I'm also a medical student, but an IMG. Congratulations on your master's defense and on the new journey through med school. Best of luck!!

    1. Thanks for the welcome and letting me know you're reading! I just finished the first week of classes and will hopefully be getting a post up about it in the next day or two - I definitely underestimated how tired I'd be by the end of the day, haha! :)