Week 68-69: The last day of my fieldwork

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Last week, I started my observation work with the last physician in my fieldwork, who is a bit different from other doctor participants. He is the chief doctor at a clinic, has about 12 years’ experience of medical practice, and is very modest.

What impressed me the most was the excellent staff at the clinic. One of the things he cares about most in running a clinic is the personnel and their training. I immediately recognised that he must be a great leader to all the staff, as well as being a good physician for his patients. On the last day of my observation with him this week, after our work, he told me that they were very happy to participate in my research, and when I was leaving, all the staff stood up to say goodbye to me. It was very nice to have such a great time with them on the very last day of my fieldwork in Japan.

Last week, I also conducted the second focus group discussion with six male patients with cancer. Without any hesitation, they told me about their experiences with and feelings towards their disease. In terms of organising a focus group, one of the hardest things for me was that I could not stop a patient talking. Sometimes an answer would continue for 20 minutes, although we had only 80 minutes during which to cover various questions. Each patient tried to describe his story, which included very sensitive phases, so I really could not stop him talking and had to listen, just like a one-to-one interview. Ideally, what I wanted to have was a discussion between the participants. My preparation of my questions and skills to conduct a focus group would be insufficient, although I was very grateful to talk to them and greatly appreciate their contribution.

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After three and a half months of fieldwork, I finally had a proper holiday with Luca! He came to Tokyo for the first time in eight months for a holiday. I picked him up at Narita airport last weekend, and we stayed in Akasaka and spent nine days together. Although I had some work to do for a few days, we visited as many places as possible, tried many different foods and drinks, and met some friends of mine. We had dinner with my dad, and he talked to my mum on video chat as well. I was very happy that he fully enjoyed the time in Tokyo!

My achievements in Week 68:
– Made four observations, and collected three recordings and one interview.
– Conducted the second focus group discussion with six male patients.

My achievements in Week 69:
– Made four observations, and collected four recordings and two interviews.
– Enjoyed a nine-day holiday with Luca!

Goals for Week 70:
– Clean my room, finish packing and safely fly back to England.
– Update my fieldwork report.
– Celebrate Luca’s birthday!