How to excel in PhD: EXPERT ADVICE

Here is something that I shared from my PhD experience, I hope that it is useful for you!

Science IQ

Hi all, welcome back to scienceIQ! This is the first guest blog post of scienceIQ. We have Dr. Saurab Sharma as our guest, and today we will be discussing – how to get through the #Phdlife effectively. Here are some handy and inspiring tips from Dr. Saurab Sharma.

Dr. Saurab Sharma is a pain scientist and an Assistant Professor at Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences, Nepal. He completed his PhD, which aimed to improve pain assessment, management, and research in Nepal from the University of Otago, New Zealand. His PhD was considered a thesis of exceptional quality unanimously by all examiners. During his PhD, he published 26 peer-reviewed papers in international journals. He also presented his research in 10 countries and received nine research and travel grants during his PhD. He speaks internationally on pain-related topics, evidence-based practice and research methods, and outcome assessment, among others. You may follow…

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How Nepali people moved me

It is always good to find someone nice when the journey is so hard. Nepalese are known to be among the nicest in terms of hospitality and many more. I really liked that you enjoyed your time in Nepal and met good people.


Nepal is known to hold some of the tallest mountains in the world:

  • Mt. Everest (8,850 meters)
  • Kangchenjunga (8,586 meters)
  • Lhotse (8,516 meters)
  • Makalu (8,463 meters)

_DSC2497-Edit.JPG 5th Gokyo Lake (Ngojumpa, Everest, Pumori, Nuptse, and Nuru Ri are in the background)

In fact, there are 8 mountains that are higher than 8,000 meters in Nepal. To the naked eye, the mountains produce enough awe and beauty to satisfy one for a lifetime.

Leah Malsom and I signed up for a 12 day Gokyo Ri and Gokyo lakes trek. We were going to see Gokyo Ri (5, 300 meters) and the tallest lakes in the world: Gokyo lakes. We scaled up staircases of ancient rock and dirt, saw countless yaks walking the trail, and encountered the magnificent mountains Nepal is known for. However, what people rarely talk about is the people of Nepal.

DSC_0002.JPG View from near Syangboche airstrip: Thamserku (6,623 m) on left…

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Pinched nerves don’t have to hurt – Neuroscience Nugget No. 1 & 2


Nugget 1 “Pinched nerves don’t have to hurt”

“Pinch” – the word can makes you recoil a little. Apply it to a nerve as in “pinched nerve” and it’s not a healthy metaphor.  “Pinch” means different things to different people. Scary stuff sometimes –after all, you wouldn’t pinch a live electrical cable. There is lots of scary pinched nerve stuff on the web as well.

We have known for years that peripheral nerves, nerve roots and sympathetic rami and ganglia can be flattened and a bit ratty yet the owner has no idea of his/her battered looking nervous system – kind of like arthritic change in joints don’t have to hurt either, which is something we are more familiar with..

Juicy info to add:

We all have pinched nerves. They do it all the time –flex your elbow and your median nerve almost bends on itself and still works. It…

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Tennis Elbow – Centre Court

A comprehensive review by Bisset and Vicenzino and an expert remarks by David Butler. You will also get to see the video by Butler with variety of fun exercises for radial nerve mobilization for lateral epicondyalalgia !!



A beaut topical review on tennis elbow (lateral epicondylagia or LE) emerged in the recent Journal of Physiotherapy (Bissett and Vicenzino 2015, Physiotherapy management of lateral epicondylalgia, open access). I think it’s the best review of the status of our LE knowledge. Importantly, it reminds us that LE is “not self limiting and it’s associated with ongoing pain and disability in a substantial proportion of sufferers”. This suggests to me that people experiencing lateral elbow pain deserve a bit of attention and shouldn’t be shunted to the outside courts to wait it out. The authors of the review suggest that “sensitisation of the nervous system” is “one plausible reason for persistent pain in LE”.

As an old clinician I think I, and the patients I was treating over the years, have tried most of the interventions that are reviewed in the paper – exercise, manual therapy/manipulation, orthoses, laser, ultrasound…

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After the earthquake

It is very generous of NOI to supoort us during the earthquake and to post my email as a blog post at reputed I feel privileged….


A little while ago, we posted an interview with our good friend Saurab, about his experiences as a physiotherapist in Nepal. Last week we received a note from Saurab and a copy of an article, that he co-authored, that discussed the role of physiotherapy following the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12 earlier this year:

First I would like to thank you for supporting us and keeping us in your prayers during the time of disaster in Nepal. Though the time here was difficult, your support and prayers were significant and valuable. There are no words to thank you. 

When the aftermaths of the earthquake were settling down, we took some time to write down about the disaster situation here in Nepal so that people elsewhere would know about our experiences. This produced us an editorial in a reputed journal (article is attached). I am happy…

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A view of pain from Nepal

These are what I shared with NeuroOrthopedic Institute, Australia, when they asked me about my experience of treating patients with various painful conditions in Nepal, and how I happened to be involved in pain research that earned me and Prof. Jensen the International Association for Study of Pain (IASP) research grant.


Saurab Sharma is a physiotherapist who works in a clinical setting at Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University Hospital, and lectures at Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences. I had the pleasure of meeting Saurab when he attended EP3, and PainAdelaide earlier this year and we’ve kept in touch. I asked Saurab if he might be interested in doing a bit of a Q&A for the ‘jam and he was happy to oblige.

Q: Saurab, tell me a little bit about where you work and the people you work with

A: Dhulikhel Hospital is located 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu. Although the distance appears to be short, we receive patients from very remote areas and the characteristics of these patients is very different. Most of these patients are from low socioeconomic status, have not been to school, and most of them would have visited traditional healers and tried all other ways of management…

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