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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.

Friday, 17 July 2015


How else to kick off celebrating 4th July?
A far cry from drizzly England! SB, CA.
When I was very little (well, as little as I ever was. Single digits.), The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton were amongst my favourite books.  The Magic Faraway Tree is found by a group of children, and is inhabited by a series of characters (Moonface, the Saucepan Man, Dame Wash-a-lot...).  At the top of the tree is a magical land that changes every few days.  The Land of Toys, the Land of Dreams, the Land of Presents... But when it is time for the Land to move on and change, a wind blows and the children have to run back down into the tree as fast as they can, lest they get stuck in the Land after it moves on.  Then, they wait until the next land appears for them to explore.
Ojai, CA - home of delicious
organic wines and this gem
of a spot.

Replace 'Lands' with 'Countries' and that's roughly how it feels to leave a place where you've created a home and plonk yourself back in the throes of a life you once recognised.  A friend recently described it as 'confusion/sadness/excitement/boredom/exhaustion' - a perfect summary!  Made weirder by interesting quirks such as my new phone refreshing as if it were the day I left for the USA - talk about a time warp!  People prepare you for the culture shock of moving abroad - now that I'm a few days in, they somewhat omit to mention the culture shock of moving back...  Plus, shockingly, it's administratively rather complicated moving countries (and jobs) - surprising, huh?!  Super grateful for the diverse selection of friends, close and often not-so-close, who have been in touch and made me feel less of a freak by relating their emotions, often hilarious, from when they moved back after an extended stay overseas.  People are great :)

Julia Pfeiffer point, Big Sur, CA
Morro Bay, CA. More of this next year!
I can scarcely believe 9 1/2 months can go so fast.  Some people have a baby in that time; I moved across an ocean, made a home and then moved back to start another one.  Life-changing in a different way... but life-changing nonetheless.  In less than three weeks I'll be back to being Dr Karin Purshouse - with weekends, night shifts and evenings on call, if you were in any doubt Mr Hunt - yikes.  The negativity from my medical chums is pretty overwhelming.  Lots to think about, but one thing I have learned: living abroad is awesome.  From the friends I made to the things I experienced, from the emotions it brought out in me to the things it made my brain explore, living in the USA was so much more than I could ever have imagined.  I actually loved being a funny foreigner, and what it taught me about myself as well as the world in general.  I am by no means alarmed by the idea of doing it again in the future.  For some reason, that makes returning to the UK and medical life seem a lot less scary.  I will not let my spirit be squashed before I've even started, especially not for a job I love so much!

Right.  I'm off to adjust to this crazy country I'm meant to call 'home' and continue to 'sort my life out'.  One thing is for sure; apart from one SWIMS exception, I am refusing to say goodbye to ANYONE ELSE for a very long time!
Ciao, NYC!

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