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Wilkommen to my blog - my name is Karin Purshouse, and I'm a doctor in the UK. If you're looking for ramblings on life as a junior doctor, my attempts to dual-moonlight as a scientist and balancing all that madness with a life, you've come to the right place. I'm currently a doctor/research trainee in oncology after spending a year doing research in the USA. All original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Monday, 16 April 2012

An exercise in listening

I sometimes think that the BT advert that tells us 'it's good to talk' could have been dreamt up by someone who had been spying on me, and was trying to make me feel better about the fact that I talk.  A lot.

And this weekend, I was reminded again why I need to stop talking.  Apart from the fact that there is no real filter between what I'm thinking about and what I subsequently say (and therefore absolutely no quality control!), I listened to so many excellent things this weekend that I hereby promise to make my life more of an exercise in listening.  

This weekend I was at the BMA's Medical Students Conference in Nottingham - medical students from all over the UK spending two days debating motions on issues as diverse as binge drinking to the current oversubscription situation for foundation jobs, student finance to research databases, academic training to supporting charitable work.  The stand-out speeches for me were always the first time speakers.  I went to my first conference three years ago and I was T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D - nothing gives you palpitations like the first time you face the crowd.  It was exciting to hear about what novel issues people had identified, what ideas people had for tackling them and then hearing them be debated with such eloquence.  Great news - the motion in support of Open Access to research passed!

Medicine is always seen as a competitive kind of area to work in, but at the conference, it warmed my heart to see that friendship and camaraderie are not dead.  Perhaps people criticise us young 'uns for being full of wishful thinking, big ideas and a distinct absence of cynicism, but I am delighted to embrace this label. I love that we can come to the table with such different ideas, haggle it out and still leave as friends. 

Shall we dance?
But such haggling only comes with a predominant dose of listening, and I am hereby making it my halfway-through-April resolution to frankly pipe down.  Quantic and Alice Russell are making this endeavour significantly easier at the present time.  Hurrah for music! And for friends - meeting people like those at the conference this weekend is probably my favourite thing ever. 

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