Weekly Status Update #32: Transitions

Another weekly status update, this week featuring: pelvic model updates, demos, project meetings, self-imposed deadlines and transitions:

  • At the beginning of this week, the medical PhD in our project visited me in Delft and together we started work on the final reconstruction of our 3D virtual pelvis model, the Virtual Surgical Pelvis (VSP). She painstakingly annotated and segmented all these structures by hand, but with worthwhile and amazing results. In this final reconstruction, all the regions and structures that are surgically relevant are included. This model will be the basis for the final phase of my project, a surgical planning application. It’s starting to look pretty even 😉
  • We also had a post-doc candidate (for a position in Delft) visiting and it is always great to meet new smart people that might join the group. I do notice that by now, I’m getting seriously tired of talking about my own project and giving demos to people just about every week. I guess it’s only natural after 3 years on the same topic, but still. I also don’t have the easiest topic to bring up when you just met someone. It typically goes something like: me: ‘In rectal cancer…’ guest: ‘Say what???’.
  • There is however still one thing that never fails to get me excited about the project, and that is having a project meeting with our medical partners in Leiden. I still love discussing every anatomical detail and surgical problem they bring up and love thinking about visualization solutions to help them visualize these complex anatomical relations.
  • Something I get significantly less excited about, but that still needs to be done: the anatomical variation topic… This week we set a self-imposed deadline for it, to have it all wrapped up by the end of February. What actually annoys me most about the topic is not how long it has taken (though that is annoying too), but mainly that it is less clinically relevant compared to the next phase of the project.
  • So, in this time of changing from one phase of my PhD to the next and in about a year transitioning (hopefully) to post-PhD life, the internal debate of academia vs. industry still rages on in my mind. I’ve talked to some more people about it this week, and I think I may have reached a decision. When I look at the parts I enjoy in this PhD project and the parts I don’t and combine it with my personal characteristics, it seems there is really only one way to go. It’s not even the way I initially thought I’d go when starting out, so that is surprising to me, to say the least.

Short, but sweet? Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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