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Virtual Leadership in Clinical Research

This paper presents a summary of my interview with a leader in clinical research. The decision to settle on him as the best person to interview was the fact that he has attained his position at a rather very early age. Indeed, a friend of my dad’s reliably informed me that Dr. Odida, a clinical research leader in New Hampshire, has become the new icon in the field of research due to the wide range of reforms he has instituted in the research firm that he works for. Dr. Odida graduated five years ago in pharmaceutical research and understands best what the current trends are in this field (Gauch 2003).

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According to him, the greatest challenge to clinical research is the lack of cooperation between the various stakeholders. For instance, it is always an uphill task to get the government and non-governmental institutions to reason in the same manner. The areas of disagreement are on funding as none of them seems keen on shouldering the financial burden. Moreover, a stiff opposition has often come from patient advocates who feel that doing clinical trials on patients puts unnecessary risks on the patients’ life. Although medical personnel have always argued that preliminary research of the medical facilities or drugs is done on animals before it is tried on humans, they have always remained adamant that this is not a safe practice on the life of humans (Gauch 2003).

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Having worked in the leadership position for the last three years, Dr. Odida was also keen to note that a chronic shortage of clinical research personnel has certainly hampered progress in the field. The people who graduate in research are generally few and many of them pursue their adjunct careers instead of clinical research. The reason for this unfortunate trend is the idea that clinical research is an expensive adventure and should be preserved to those who can secure huge funds from their governments or non-governmental institutions. In some instances, the trained personnel complain that their training is never sufficient for the practice in clinical research. However, this is being addressed currently with many governments and universities revising their curricular to suit the practice of clinical research (Bennis 1989).

During the entire session of the interview, the youthful leader in clinical research did not lack words of encouragement for me. For instance, he insisted that the fact that success in clinical research always takes time, it is a venture worth taking because if finally ensures safety of humanity. According to him, quality medical care would remain a mirage if researchers shied away from clinical research. Besides, he was quick toad that focus on clinical data management would be essential for success of future clinical researchers. For instance, the major challenge currently is to trace medical records of all cases of clinical trials for future references. Basically, most researchers discard their research records as soon as their projects seem to be failing. This implies that when some more insight into the research is discovered at a later date, the researchers have to start all over again, thereby causing unnecessary delays (Gauch 2003).

The emerging trend in clinical research is the involvement of students so as to reduce the cost and ensure proper dedication. Indeed, this stems from the reasoning that student projects are likely to register continuity because they can be passed on from one group to another. This has certainly shown great impact, especially considering that these students also develop great interest in clinical research early enough. Besides, most researchers are currently running to non-governmental institutions for funding instead of their governments. This is due to the fact of changing government policies that can adversely affect the progress of research projects (Bass 1990).

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In conclusion, the interview session with Dr. Odida was quite successful as he was able to explain at depth his opinion of leadership in clinical research. Indeed, my resolve to pursue a career in this field has become stronger. 

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