Several times, prospective PhD students have asked my opinion about whether they should start a PhD or not. I’d like to share one aspect – among many other – which supports commitment into a PHD: improved productivity.

Why am I writing a PhD? Throughout my now fairly long life as a PhD candidate (I am now five and a half years into it), I gave the answers I thought best: it teaches me to be responsible of a large scale project all by myself, I learn how to use new research methods and, among many other reasons, I learn about how I function as a human being – Oh, and I contribute to research, I was going to forget that one!

While they are true, these responses only answers part of the question. Why do I write a PhD? Not the part about motivations, but rather the so what part.

Here is something about me – about most of us: I procrastinate, i.e. I postpone to tomorrow what could be done today. And since primary school, we are taught that procrastination is evil. Just look up online the thousand pseudo solutions to fight procrastination.

9gag (source: 9gag)

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I recently gave a presentation to doctors of the Hospital de Los Valles, Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Ecuador about Delphi panels and I thought I’d translate it into a blog post to keep a trace, but also because I am sure some have asked themselves the question. Indeed, many have encountered the term “Delphi” without really digging into what it means. This post aims to be brief and straight to the point and answer the following questions:

– What is a Delphi panel?
– What are Delphi panels applications in health?
– What is the position of Delphi panels within health evidence?

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It all started one year ago, when I decided I wanted to purchase a small house in my native village in Western France. With the size of my wallet, I was not after anything big.

I found a little house by the church side. It looked cute and old-fashioned, just as I wanted it. I needed nothing else, so off I went to start negotiating. But – of course there was a but – a right-of-way provided by the neighbour was necessary to access the tiny property. My idea was that maybe I could negotiate the purchase of a tiny plot to manage a property without any right-of-way. And this is where the story starts.

2014-06-12 17.31.46
Source: Jonathan Guillemot
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Le viager, cette drôle d’histoire… Pour faire simple, le viager est un mode de vente immobilière dans lequel une personne âgée vend sa maison principale tout en y demeurant, contre le versement d’une somme (bouquet) et d’une rente jusqu’au terme de la vie du vendeur.

D’un point de vue gérontologique, c’est une solution quasi parfaite, gagnant-gagnant.

Source: Pinterest
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My thesis aims to understand why prescribing trends for osteoporosis medication in England and France have started declining since about 2008. Indeed, after a very sharp increase since the late 1990s, the trends in prescription started stagnating and declining in England and France respectively since 2008.
As I review the literature – very slowly I must admit – I come to the conclusion that the epidemiology of the disease – i.e. the number of people actually afflicted by the condition – is very unlikely to bear any responsibility in the trends. Changes in epidemiology of this nature are simply not that fast. Though Western societies are ageing, the demography is similarly not changing that quickly.
I have prepared a number oh hypotheses as to why this is occurring. I will not list them now as this is not the objective of this paper. One of them is that osteoporosis may be declining within the ranking of public agenda priorities.

Source: AlgaeCal
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After watching the following keynote by David Sinclair presenting recent scientific findings around the prevention and possible reversing of ageing, I wondered about something: Are gerontologists against scientific discoveries preventing and delaying biological ageing?

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We spend years at school preparing our career, learning the values of labour, developing skills and so on. We progressively get closer to what we have been raised to achieve: start our careers, with of course a extremely wide range of opportunities. We work hard to live well and we live (hard?) to work well. Then, then… We retire.

Then, nothing. Nought. Read More

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