What would you think if someone told you on the day you graduated from medical school in Spain that you were not going to practice medicine there, but instead embark on an exciting global career in clinical research? A journey that was going to take you to three continents: Europe, the Americas and Asia, while contributing in a thousand small ways to thousands of patients’ lives worldwide.

We are the quiet champions behind the BIG champions – research participants. We make their lives count and we ensure their contributions count.

I would have thought you were crazy. I had no knowledge of clinical trials leaving college and there were no courses in college back then that I could have taken to learn about research. Through a friend who had a friend working at Covance, G.H. Besselaar & Associates back then, I landed an interview and a job in Stockholm, Sweden. There, at soon-to-be Covance Inc. my first – and some of my best – mentors in clinical research helped me pave my career path to success. I learned a lot, I worked a lot, and I was humbled by the stories of so many research participants that generously create the opportunities for new drug/device therapies to exist.

It hasn’t stopped there. So much in research has to do with paying it forward: with your colleagues, with your less-experienced co-workers, and with the “outsiders” who don’t have a clue about what you really do when you visit hospitals and clinics all over the country.

We are the quiet champions behind the BIG champions – research participants. We make their lives count and we ensure their contributions count. Ask yourself: Am I doing all I can do to make research a success story? Am I always educating myself to be a better contributor to the research community at large? There is so much left to do and so much we have all done together! Join me as a research community member and extend your hand today and see whose life you can touch!

Maria L. de Alvare, MD, CCRA, CCTI
ACRP Members Since 2003