PhD Toolkit: Smart Is Not Enough

Our DoctorTalesBlog is all about finding success in graduate school. Dr. Patti and I offer advice and tools to help students survive the doctoral process. You’ll find that one of the biggest challenges is in learning new skills: critical thinking, academic writing, commitment, working smarter, persistence, and confidence. Even if you think you already have these skills, you don’t know what you don’t know. And you won’t know until you are tested.

Lots of smart people get into graduate school. But being smart isn’t everything. For example, in the ’90s, 57% of students finished within 10 years – but 30% left their program. But today’s doctoral attrition rate is 50%. What’s wrong with this picture? Why do students leave their program? What factors determine the success or failure of doctoral students today?

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More PhD Survival Tips

This week, I found another blog on survival tips for doctoral students. Dr. Patti Mason and I understand the need to find new ways to learn and let go of old habits. We struggled with managing time while juggling work and family obligations. Here’s another look at other ideas to help you survive your doctoral journey. I like some of these suggestions – they dovetail nicely with our tips for a successful academic journey.

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Make Time To Celebrate the Milestones

Editor’s Note: Dr. Patti Mason wrote this week’s blog to remind us to celebrate your milestones throughout your dissertation journey. We can forget to celebrate the small things we do. When we neglect to acknowledge our milestones and achievements, however small they may seem, we miss a great opportunity to be encouraged to take another step towards a new milestone.

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Welcome to Doctor Tales!

Welcome! Doctor Tales is a new blog to help doctoral students succeed during and beyond their academic journeys.

Welcome! Doctor Tales is a new blog to help doctoral students succeed during and beyond their academic journeys. We are Dr. Bessie DiDomenica (PhD) and Dr. Patricia Mason (DBA), two doctors who took the journey. We earned our doctoral degrees in 2015 and offer our strategies for other doctoral candidates to succeed.

Three years on, we are still write and encourage adult learners to pursue their educational dreams.

2018 updates: Dr. Patti’s research on electronic health records implementation (EHR) is a hot topic in the world of healthcare! She is in demand as an expert in EHR in rural health clinics. This year, Dr. Patti received her Reiki Certified Master/Teacher certificate. She will write more on the value of relaxation for anyone pursuing their academic dream.

Dr. Bessie is exploring a writing business for scholars and adult learners. She will facilitate a panel discussion on mobile food markets at an urban farming conference, and is working on several book projects. Dr. Bessie is very excited about her plans to create a foundation to help older and special needs cats and dogs.

Dr. Patti and Dr. Bessie are also writing a book for  adult learners and graduate students. We’ll post more updates as things develop.

We truly embrace our new roles as scholar-practitioners, and encourage others to take their education beyond the classroom.

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