Week 58: Moving forward

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What an intensive and hectic seven-day last week! Six weeks have passed since I started my fieldwork at medical clinics/institutions in Tokyo. The biggest achievements from the week were that I got my ethics clearance from an organisation (no more ethics applications required!) and that I got inspiration for my methodology through a meeting with the scholar who I mentioned last week, a ‘very cold person’.

His tone in his emails was very distant, and he seemed reluctant to talk to me, but eventually, he agreed to see me. I visited his office at a hospital where he works. I was very nervous.

He was actually nice, cheery and helpful, and he gave me a lot of information that I wanted. I got a bit confused about the difference in personality. He was smiling throughout the meeting, and what’s more, he offered to send some academic books to my address, which I really appreciated. In the meeting, I confided in him that I was concerned about the potential disconnect between my research questions, methodology and answers. He immediately understood the point and gave me advice on how to better answer my research questions, which resolved all the anxieties I had been suffering from over the past months! It was almost a miracle.

It would be one of the greatest benefits from doing fieldwork to have a face-to-face meeting with an expert and get a deep understanding of what actually happens in the field, not just what literature tells.

However, fieldwork is not all fun and productive. My work in Japan has been about ‘walking, meeting people and interacting’, and I have not been able to spend much time on ‘writing’. My aim for Week 59 is to work on editing my paper and writing some reports.

I also miss having training sessions and research seminars at my uni which I had got for the last year.

My achievements in Week 58:
– Made contact with three physicians, to whom one of my research participants introduced me.
– A participant also introduced her colleagues, three physicians, for my research.
– Started collecting relevant books for a systematic literature review.
– Arranged some details for focus group discussions that will take place in March.
– Wrote a draft of my proposal for a conference.
– Helped a physician to organise and conduct a healthcare seminar, and I learnt a lot!
– Got the ethics approval from an organisation.
– Had all my worries on methodology solved.

Goals for Week 59:
– Submit my conference proposal.
– Write my first report on my fieldwork to share with my supervisors.
– Edit my paper for an online journal.

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