Clinical research is conducted to determine whether a given medication- both a drug and a treatment method – is safe and does not have negative consequences for health. This research is conducted on people who have expressed their willingness to participate in them.
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Why is clinical research necessary?
Clinical research precedes the actual entry of a drug or treatment method into general use. Before a physician can prescribe a drug or refer a patient to a particular form of therapy, it must be checked to ensure that it does more good than harm to health.
In many cases, patients who have been refused other forms of treatment apply to participate in clinical research, although this is not always the case. However, it is necessary to obtain written consent of the potential participant, which must also meet additional conditions – usually, it is necessary to give up other forms of therapy, and – obviously – medical diagnosis of a specific disease that is to be treated by a given treatment or drug.
Working in clinical research
Working on clinical research requires a lot of knowledge, and hence – positions related to clinical research of various forms of therapy or drugs are usually very well paid. To start this career path, you must complete the CRA training program, which will enable you to become a clinical research associate, which is sort of the first step in professional advancement in this profession.
Notably, the course can only be attended by people who have specialized college/university degrees in the field of medicine or are students of the last years of this field. It is also allowed to have different specialized college/university degrees, provided that the candidate for the position of clinical research associate has filled the gaps in medical knowledge with appropriate training and courses.
What are the requirements to become a clinical research associate?
In addition to a specialized college/university degree, knowledge of the English language in speech and writing is also necessary, as well as fluent computer skills – including the use of office software. Hard competencies are not the only things that a candidate for an associate must have: additionally, the candidate must be able to properly organize his work, establish relationships with others and set priorities in his actions.
What does a clinical research associate do?
The tasks of a clinical research associate are mainly based on supporting research team leaders in their activities. Among the tasks that may be assigned to an associate, there are, among others updating systems related to clinical research, as well as supporting the archiving of documentation, assistance in the preparation and distribution of materials for clinical research, or undertaking other types of activities on the request of the manager.
It is a position that requires responsibility, but it can bring a lot of satisfaction to a person interested in this subject. Also, the financial conditions are satisfactory for the majority.