It was the end of a very long, stressful week in my career as a Senior Clinical Research Associate when I received an email from ACRP and this was the first sentence: “Clinical research professionals like you are increasing the odds of longer, healthier lives for millions of people around the world.” WOW…there it was… written in a perfect sentence…the reason that I continue to remain in this industry even on crazy weeks like this…I have a job that makes a difference!
I spent six years as a study coordinator in Phase II through Phase IV clinical trials in various therapeutic areas with both pediatric and adult subjects. I got to know my subjects because they sometimes would qualify for other trials after completion, so we had long-standing relationships. Their eagerness to help others find relief by donating their time as subjects was very impressive. I still have mementos given to me by some very special pediatric subjects.
I was so enthusiastic about my work as a study coordinator that I eagerly trained other healthcare professionals to be study coordinators and, in fact, wrote an article published in CMA TODAY May/June 2005, Clinical Research Can Lead to a Fulfilling Career.
It was a difficult decision, but I decided to make the leap from Study Coordinator to Clinical Research Associate (Monitor) over eight years ago. I do not regret this decision and find myself again loving to mentor other CRAs who share my passion in this industry.
I have monitored Phase II through Phase IV trials in various therapeutic areas such as hepatitis, COPD, and hepatocellular carcinoma and others. Sponsors can be demanding; eager to launch a potentially beneficial drug, and in some cases, lifesaving or life changing drug. Travel can be grueling, trip reports can become novels, sites can have challenges, subject recruitment may be lagging, days can be long, and weeks can be longer. Then, as you collapse onto the sofa for a little “non-thinking” television, a commercial will appear and you smile, knowing that your work helped that drug to market. Somehow that helps you get out and handle another day.
Whatever your position is in this industry, take this message to heart. You do matter. You can be proud. You are increasing the odds of longer healthier lives for millions of people around the world.
Deborah L. Ansel, CMA, CCRC, SCRA
ACRP Member Since 2004