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Therapeutic radiographer earns doctorate

12 August, 2019

Dr David Evans has been awarded a PhD by Cardiff University after completing research on adults treated for oropharyngeal cancer.

His thesis was titled Survivorship experiences of working-age adults previously treated for oropharyngeal cancer. Moving towards a post-treatment self, its hidden impact and an absence of recognition: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.

It concluded that patients can struggle with adapting to 'normal' life after treatment due to the absence of visible physical changes.

David spent 10 years in the graphic design industry before returning to education and graduating as a therapeutic radiographer from the University of the West of England in 2012. He now works as a band 7 radiographer at Velindre Cancer Centre.

Speaking of the difficulties of undertaking a doctorate, David explained, “It wasn't an easy process. Delays in gaining ethical approval, corrections, and working clinically at the same time stretched the whole process out to over five years.

“The thing that really kept me going was the participants and the fact that they had given up their free time to share their experiences with me. I felt like I owed it to them to complete the study and, looking back on it now, I am so glad I did it.”

David was a serving member of the SoR’s research group for four years, often helping with the work the Society undertakes promoting research in radiography.

“The most important support you need for a PhD is from the people around you. The encouragement and advice from my supervisors was invaluable, as was the support from friends and family,” David said.

“The career pathway of a radiographer with a PhD is an uncertain one, but this is something which will hopefully become more structured over time.”

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