Thursday, 28 May 2015


Norwegians know how to do celebrations that have a light touch while avoiding that cynicism about anything serious into which we so often descend in the UK.

Last night was a case in point. It was the final part of Chris's PhD process – the candidate is expected to host a dinner for the panel, supervisors, colleagues, family and a few friends, so there were about 27 of us gathered. We were treated to some good food, but there were also a number of speeches spaced throughout the meal. Chris himself gave the first, thanking a number of people for the support he'd had.

Others who spoke were his professor, his other supervisor, the acting dean, the clinical director of the paediatric & adolescent medicine department, and the third of his examiners, who is one of the most respected and influential obstetricians in Norway, and who has had a major contribution in researching and tackling some big medical issues in parts of Africa. Even given that it was a time for saying nice things about people, their praise was fulsome. It left us with an immense sense of pride at what he is and what he has done in both the clinical and the research sides of his work, and in the positive relationships he has established within the hospital.

Mie, his wife, also spoke about the way in which he managed the family / work balance, and in particular of the impact that having their own second child born at 26 weeks had had. It's one thing to talk to parents as a paediatrician, and quite another to relate to them as someone who's been there himself.

So now it's all over, with a bit of time to de-stress. We fly back to Erin Mae tomorrow.


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