As a final-year PhD student at the University of Manchester I felt the need to respond to the rather negative portrayal of PhD study previously highlighted (“This far, and no further?”, Features, 14 August). The various negative experiences that your contributors talked about must surely be counterbalanced with some positive ones. I have had the opportunity not only to be part of a thriving academic team within a vibrant research group but also to have the support of three excellent supervisors.
My PhD journey has really brought home the impact that researchers can have, not only on our field but also in changing the lives of those who matter: patients. All too often the portrayal of PhD study is one of a lonely, independent and often regretful experience. While the financial burden may often be apparent, it must be emphasised that the PhD journey can also be one of accomplishment and fulfilment. Only this week have I returned from an exciting international academic conference that served to reinforce my career choice as being well-informed and worthwhile.
Seeing the difference that our work is making to the lives of people with various health conditions was extremely satisfying.
The Dermatology Research Centre
University of Manchester