Finding Your Feet in the Clinical Trials World During a Global Pandemic

London, ON — April 13, 2020 —

Madison Pearce, Stiris Research                 

Time can certainly fly when you’re having fun; and then slow to a painful, grinding halt. One year ago, I was worried about finding a job after finishing school for Clinical Trials Management. Six months ago, I was worried about passing the obligatory start-up review at my new job. Three months ago, I was worried about being assigned my first official project of my own as the Clinical Project Associate. One week ago, the constant talk about COVID-19 on the news was causing me to start worrying. Today, I am just worrying. If I tried to list all the reasons why, I would need a day or two. The worries from a year ago seem so miniscule compared to today.

Although COVID-19 has been in the news for months now, for those of us focused on other things in North America, it feels as though the world was thrown this curveball just yesterday. Everything moved so quickly. One day, it is just cases in China; then it moves to Italy and Spain. Doctors offices start COVID-19 screening process for routine appointments. Schools shut down. Family and friends are told they are not on the ‘essential’ work list and there is no choice but to be laid off.

On the bright side, the prospect of working from home due to COVID-19 seemed like a dream. I am fortunate enough to work for a company who has the ability and resources for team members to work from home. You’re telling me that I could wear pajamas to work? I could walk downstairs and be in my office? How did I luck out to work at such a great company?

Then reality sets in: More than a million cases of COVID-19; hundreds of deaths reported daily; ‘quarantine’, ‘isolation’ and ‘lockdown’ are now part of our daily vocabulary, and no one knows for how long. There is a constant internal battle of feeling lost in my own life and feeling lost for those who are at the frontline of the pandemic. How can I justify feeling anxious myself when there are people who are working around the clock fighting COVID-19 hands-on in the hospitals?

What we do in the clinical trials world is critical, and this crisis has really thrown that into the spotlight – people need a cure and a vaccine, and they need it now. Patient safety is still the priority, and so studies are starting to solve this problem, but we have to hurry up and wait for trials to complete the normal processes to ensure the cure is not worse than the disease.

And so, I will continue to worry. But I will also remember what I have learned in my first year working in clinical trials – there are solutions to every problem, patience will pay off, and clinical research won’t stop until a solution is found. We must press on and support each other, at work and in life.

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About Stiris Research

Stiris Research is an entrepreneurial Clinical Trial Management company specializing in conducting complex Phase I through IIIB trials for North American biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies, with a focus on Oncology, CNS and Neurology. Stiris Research was formed as a result of listening to the stakeholders engaged in clinical trials, identifying their unmet needs, and developing a unique, value-based approach to address those needs.

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