Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grad School Interview

Just a few minutes ago I was informed that I have an interview with the graduate committee at the University of Utah to discuss my prospects/plans for grad school. I applied for the MS non-thesis option, as I was advised to by one of the professors I have met here. But in my letter I indicated that I would be willing to consider pursuing a PhD if I could convince someone to support my topic. It's a controversial topic that very few people are talking about, and that is, something like: environmental sustainability in health care/informatics or applying permaculture design to healthcare informatics design.

I'm not off my rocker, but these are things I am passionate about so I thought I would bring it to the table and see what happens. My interview date has been set for February 7th, so that means I have three weeks to put together a coherent pitch about why this is a topic worth studying.

I'm still working out how I would even go about studying such a thing, but certainly an audit of some kind would be in order. I have been working this out in my Morning Pages these last few days and it's going to be time soon to do some mind-mapping. Both of these topics are very broad and require a lot of information, so I have brought home some books from the library, will read them and take copious notes, and of course see what turns up in a web search about this topic (not very much that I have seen).

It may be that I will need to start a separate blog for this, should I get the green light on it. This is all contingent on funding, too, not only do I have to convince a professor who will be my supervisor that I am not crazy and that this is a topic worth pursuing, I will also have to convince the people with money to award me grants to study and that I am a good investment.

Interesting to note, they have two options for those pursuing a PhD: you can either write the book-style dissertation or you can write three publication-ready articles to be submitted to academic journals. I think I will have a hard time deciding which to select. I think the exercise of writing a dissertation would be a good one, but, as I didn't get any experience with writing papers during my Master's, I think this will be an excellent skill to hone as a student. 

Meanwhile, I will take myself to the weekly research seminars up at the U (an eleven-minute train ride) and slowly get to know people.The presentation today was amazing, it was a video of a presentation at a health symposium presented last year where the keynote speaker discussed the economics of health care. If you ever get a chance to hear James E Orlikoff speak, I highly recommend it.

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