From Intern to Clinical Trial Assistant to Clinical Research Associate

From Intern to Clinical Trial Assistant to Clinical Research Associate

Hey guys ECR G here back with another video today. We’ve got a very very special guest here. We’ve got an interview With one of my longtime friends in the industry she goes by the name of Tiffany. She’s a clinical research associate and She’s been doing this for a couple years now But I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about her so hey Tiffany. How you doing. I’m doing good. How are you? I’m well Could you go ahead and just share a little bit about yourself? Maybe a little bit about your background in clinical research? You know how long you’ve been doing clinical research, and what kind of got you into it Yeah, so I’ve been doing clinical research for about I would say a little over four years So I started right out of college With an internship which led me to become a CTA at Quinn’s house and then from a CTA I moved on into the CRA position and since then I have been a CRA Okay So a lot of people are interested in kind of getting their foot in the door in clinical research You found a great way to do that through an internship. How did that come about? it was actually a one of the you know like the career counselors at at colleges that they had so she Was helping me trying to find a job after graduation and she came across this position and they were actually coming to NC State for a job fair Once they came to the job fair. She was just like you know I think this will be a great position for you I know you’ve been looking for everything so I applied for the position. I got the internship Once I was in the internship We just pretty much did everything to learn about the role of the CTA and worked with CTA s throughout after my internship was over we had the chance to interview for the job to become a CTA at Quintiles and I was able to get that position okay? Awesome, so how long did you say the inner the internship was? the internship was for three months, so it was just a summer one okay, and Did you have any experience in clinical research or bench research or anything before that or that was your first? really acclamation to anything research oriented I Did not have any experience with clinical research I had experience with like public health research. I had did a little Internship couple internships with public health research but none with clinical research at the time, so this was my very first experience but I did have the science background from My studies while in college, okay? And you majored in human biology, right? Yeah, no I majored in biological sciences and then Nutrition so okay, you did the nutrition concentration mm-hmm all right so a lot to unpack there Do you feel like your prior experience kind of helped you get that internship? Your like your prior like public health internships or prior like you know just needing a bio degree kind of helped you get that initial industry start I Do feel like it did help I do Think that was having that science background It definitely helped because when they put these positions up they do look for people with science backgrounds a lot of the time Maybe in the past they weren’t so spits. They weren’t so specific sorry About having the science background, but now we used to look at the post more and more nowadays They wanted some type of science related field as your background So I think that when I applied around that time They would kind of You know moving towards that so I think it definitely helped that I had that experience and then I think that it Helped that I already had even though it wasn’t clinical research experience I did have some type of research experience with the public health department that I work with right, okay? Okay, now just for some context because you did reveal some dates there to 2018 now So if anyone’s listening to this in the future it is 20:18 now and You initially got the internship in what year in 2014, okay 2014? So industry was a lot different back then Changed a lot over the few years but So you did that three month internship? And then did they immediately offer you a job after that like were you a senior in college when this was happening They I had actually graduated from school and so I was in the process of looking for a permanent position and I came across the internship, so This was after I had graduated And I was in the internship it wasn’t a Promise that we would get hired because it was other interns hired at the same time but You know you would have to You know your performance has to be well your manager has to recommend you you know things like that and I ended up getting Hired on full-time okay now were there other interns that were with you Or was just like you the only intern no there were other interns with me, okay All right, so for someone else who is looking to Kind of get their foot in the door, would you recommend that same internship, or have you heard about other internships? I have not heard about other internships cuz be because this was the first time I had even heard about You know just this industry in general when the career counselor brought it to my attention So I wasn’t really looking in this industry for jobs period so it was the first time that I had heard about it As far as me hearing about other internships. I don’t really hear about other internships I have heard about like different training programs that the companies may have for like the CRA role But not necessarily internships. I’m sure they do have them, but I just You know I just wasn’t looking for them, so I can’t say if they do or not right Yeah, internships are very very hard to come by in this field and I know different companies have them because I know the company that I’m employed by has them also but they’re very very hard to come by I Think they may have some partnerships with some schools for people to like kind of slide in there that way But other than that I don’t think they post them on the website With like a big like apply here link or anything like that. It’s kinda. It’s kind of secretive Exactly especially when you want to get into like the CRA Department like that Department of the company because I’ve seen multiple And I’ve had multiple friends go from college and do like the finance internships at the same company like they have a lot of those postings, but as far as like the Clinical Department postings, it’s not a lot right Yeah, I don’t know I don’t know why that is because obviously Interns can do a lot of good work in the clinical department and there’s obviously a big need for people in the clinical department or just in clinical research in general so Ya know definitely. There’s definitely a high need for Clinical Research Associates in all all areas yeah, not just CRA is everything Everything is needed I’ve worked on plenty of studies where you know primary care managers are needed they D project very – they need project managers assistance they need other stuff, so Very true because a lot of them are stretched thin as well, right So we’ll see what they can do with that So you are intern for three months, and then you moved into the CTA role how long were you a CTA for I Don’t remember CTA I want to say it wasn’t a long time because at the time They were starting a new CRA program development program that they wanted to try out so I Applied for that program and once I got into that program. I moved on to become a CRA Okay So you would say probably less than a year in there But probably probably around a year total if you count the internship experience, would you say yeah? Yeah, okay? Yeah, that that’s perfect timing because I remember we around Maybe 2016 are sewing or telling me about that You know being able to slide up in the program pretty quickly after you completed the CTA role mm-hmm yeah Because it was a just a new kind of program that they were just trying to work out and figure out if they wanted to You know train future CRA like this, and I just so happened to be accepted into the class At the time point that I was accepted and so it kind of just went on from there, right That’s awesome So congratulations on that how long was how long was the program for and what exactly did they talk about? like teach you in there um the program I Want to say it was a few months maybe three To five months I don’t remember exactly, but it was it was a few months. It was it was a good amount of time, okay? Yes, I would say probably like three to five months was how long the program is or was and so in the program we they Basically went over everything CRA related they went over you know source Documents what you see on-site dealing with different types of sites and different personalities when you go on-site They talked about dealing with different personalities mm-hmm It wasn’t like it wasn’t like you know week-long things, but we did have like like just like a little What do you follow those like just a little discussion yeah Yeah Like just a little disc like discussion about it like you know we had other CRA s Come in and talk to us and just tell us about their experiences on-site their experiences with different sites like their good sites versus their not-so-good sites or their strong personalities versus personalities that are like easy to get along with you know any kind of just You know things that you already know because you know people have different personalities in the real world But when you have to put it into a this is my job Perspective you know if it helped so we did a little bit. You know it was just like a like just a quick workshop or now it wasn’t anything law but We talked about you know just the regulations involved with the FDA and then GCP We did we talked about monitoring and we talked about At that time the company that I was at we talked about their reports You know how they like for their reports to be written and stuff like that okay? So it just pretty much covered everything Thing it sounds like it was pretty thorough mm-hmm okay, and then we also Sorry to cut you off, but we also did like observation they also had observation visits built into it, okay, so All right, so what did you think was most helpful from that from the training program as far as actually going on say? Apart from going to a site well Only let me rephrase that what did what? Did you think was most helpful from that training program? for when you actually were doing the job I thought the most hopeful was actually the observation visits and also, just going over the different types of Just materials like they showed us things like what you should look for when you look for When you were looking at source documents how it should look how? The ICF should look and just different things like that so I felt like The most valuable thing for me was going out on an observation visit, but I also feel like Those classes like it prepped me for what to look for and then those observation visits You know further guided me with the help of the CRA That’s been doing it because most of the time the CRA that we went out with a senior CRA So they have been doing this for you know five plus years right, right Okay, so did you feel like did you feel prepared after? like for your first visit for your first So I guess you had to be observed first before you could be signed off to be to go solo But did you feel prepared for that first one after the program? I? Didn’t feel prepared my first visit my manager did come out with me, and I was nervous because it was my very first visit and But I did feel prepared. I knew that the program had gave me all of the basics It’s just a matter of you have to actually get out there and do the visit and you know get yourself comfortable with everything but I definitely felt prepared and my manager gave me some good feedback after the visit and So yeah, so how long how long did it take for you to feel like you really got the hang of it When I was assigned to my first study I would say it took me it took me a little minute because I don’t feel like like when I get assigned Even to a new study now I don’t feel like I really got the hang of it until I’m like I know all of the assessments that need to be completed You know for that visit or I know? Everything that I need to be looking for so it takes me even now a minute to get comfortable with the study but when I was first starting it took me longer a longer time to get comfortable with it but I will say maybe a few months, okay Now it’s not it’s not that long. You know it just depends on the study, but Yeah, it still takes me you know I think no matter what it still takes you a little bit of time to get used to the new study just because You’re learning a whole new protocol. You’re learning You know a whole new visit schedule you’re learning new sites So I think it’s going to take anyone some time to get used to right So yeah, okay, so just wanted to go back for a second. I know this is not It’s not completely off topic, but it’s kind of what we were talking about earlier about like how you found out about the industry, okay? I know a lot of schools and universities like first of all clinical research isn’t very like out there in the open Maybe it’s becoming more so now Just because of the YouTube presence and some LinkedIn presence, but still it’s not really out there like a lot of other industries are And you kind of just kind of happened into it right, would you say that’s accurate? Yes So what were you originally going to be doing after school? If it wasn’t for clinical research Originally I was looking into public health okay, and what made you stop looking into that? Really the internship Because once I got because once I apply for the internship It was like a two-month process as far as the interviews and everything So as I was going through the process I just started researching the industry more and I was becoming like very very Interested in what I was you know discovering and everything so it was really the internship that made me just put a pause on the public health Part that I was looking for and I just was like you know I’m gonna give this a try and see like where it goes Okay Perfect all right now back to CRA life What kind of trials do you like monitoring the best? I know I have my favorites my favorite is rare disease Just because I feel like you’ve got to feel good about what you’re doing not not to say not saying that like Certain other trials aren’t good, but I feel really good Creating you know bringing drugs to market for kids that really don’t have any other options or many other treatment options Kids and adults too, but I’ve typically worked on a lot of peds case feed studies What what trials do you really like to monitor? So I’ve monitored I’ve monitored for Vaccines I’ve monitored for kidney disease. I’ve monitored for ALS I’ve monitored for And oncology study, but it was blinded so it wasn’t much Much done there as far as the monitoring aspect. He really just deal with drug when you’re blind it, okay? I’m sorry. I’m blinded What else Yeah, I think that’s about it all of those studies have been like Over the span and a few other studies like a few studies that I’ve helped like With start-up help a few MS study start up a few osteoporosis studies But I would say probably my favorite would be Between the kidney and the ALS just because I learned so much from it And it was like very I just thought it was very very interesting. It was very Very sad listening to some of the to some of the patients Materials because sometimes they have to record so it was sad for the ALS that he’s just because if you know ALS patients You know they can progress rather fast But I really like the study because like I said I learned a lot from it So that I would say will probably be my favorite okay So would you like to do like more ALS studies in the future or did you like to just like kind of do a? hodgepodge of different stuff Um I’m actually Really interested now. I’m trying to get my manager Just I’ve been having my manager look out to see if any like lupus studies pop up because I’m actually super Interested in that right now Nothing has popped up so far, but I am hoping that sometime in the future. I will be able to get on one okay Yeah, I’m sure I’m sure there’s got to be one coming soon because lupus is pretty common yeah But yeah, okay, that’d be cool So as far as like career progression in clinical research What what kind of is the period progression? What can someone expect when they get in you know entry level? Let’s say as a clinical trial assistant? You know where does the career often take them? I would say if you start out as CTA then your options would be Move on to B. Which most people do move on to the CRA role some I do know some people that went on to like the Project management side of things I don’t really know the career progression for that But I know that Some CTAs do move on to the other side and go to project management through a different route, and they don’t do the CRA route But as far as the CRA route it will be CTA CRA and then depending on the company you work for and what they call These people you know it would be like your project manager and then like the The project lead for all of the countries or the global or just depends on what company you work for what they call it So yeah, that’s the general progression that I would say It’s about accurate or you could do instead of going to project management you can do line management Right okay? As far as you what what kind of interests you about the progressions? I mean I know a lot of people that just like go to CRA and thence they’re like see arrays for like 15 20 years I guess I’ve seen your CRA s as also. Did you make good living doing that? What do you what about what about you? What do you think for your? Yeah, I know several CRA that have been doing this for over ten years. That is not my plan I do plan to you know eventually whenever I Want to start a family or that this just I just don’t see how women there are women that do it but I don’t see how they you know raise children and have a family and Travel as much as we do so I would say You know I would be looking to move out of the CRA Road once that happens Whenever that happens, but just in general for me I Am not really sure what route I want to go because I’m kind of on the line of if I want to go into project management at all just because I just feel like they just have no life I Came from that world before I came over to the clinical side and you’re exactly right they have no lives yeah I’m kind of I seen like a couple of CRA League positions, which I was like you know, I think I may be interested in that whenever I stopped traveling interested in the CRA lead and then Determining what to go to next from there, but I’m not really sure I’m still trying to figure that part out for myself We definitely definitely got some time So you definitely got some time to think about that yeah It doesn’t seem like there’s Like I know a lot of times in other professions You you’ve got to wait for your boss to leave or something to get a promotion We’ve got to wait for somebody to die to get a promotion pretty much But it’s definitely not that like that in clinical research, would you agree? Yeah, I would agree for the most part. I think As far as getting promotions while you’re CRA. It’s pretty easy To get promotions while you’re CRA to the next level of CRA I think when it becomes tough is when you try to transition out of the CRA position when you try to go to those upper roles I think it becomes tougher to get to positions because I spoke with a lot of Senior CRA s and they just you know they’re telling me like they’re trying to get out of CRA role but there’s not a enough project management positions, or there’s not enough line management position or Some of them just want to stay at CRA s But a lot of the time they just tell me like it’s tough to get a position In project management after CRA yeah like I can see that Because there’s just a matter of whatever company you work for having that open you know project management position for you at the time that you’re ready to transition because they may have it a year before you’re ready to transition Or a year after you’re ready you know right so it’s just a matter of timing Yep, and there could be like increased competition for it cuz you know a lot of these places do have project management training programs Mm-hmm in place for like the other people under the project manager like project coordinator project specialist You know whatever the title is they all have different titles but They have like a development process for them also mm-hmm So that’s interesting so plenty of space there on the edge on the end to think about what you want career-wise But yeah, do you see yourself being in clinical research for a long time I Do see myself being in clinical research for a long time. I say that I’m still trying to figure out exactly What I want to do because now I’m opening myself to looking at the business side and different things like that so I’m also like looking into the finite finance aspect of clinical research So I’m just all over the place right now. Just trying to figure out like what area I want to go into After I’m done with the CRA role okay, how about how about contract monitoring? Would you do that? See I’ve never actually heard of that, so I’m not even sure I’ve never heard of a contract monitor No, I’m not a contract monitor. Oh wow I’ve heard of I’ve heard of people that Like do the contracts in the beginning for the sites is that what you are referring to no, I’m talking about like a monitor They’ll bring on like a contractor, so they’ll pay them hourly oh Okay, yeah, see I was thinking about I was thinking about like contractors money comes god. I got it got it, okay? Yeah, no contract monitoring yeah, I’ve heard I’ve know a lot about it and I know that they get paid very very well when they’re brought on as a contractor but Just the other side of that is just the benefit side so if I were to do it. I would just have to wait You know not having the benefits and how much it would cost to go and get those benefits And then you also have to set up your own like LLC and everything like that and you know with the whole tax situation so it would just be something that I will really have to Research and you know speak to somebody else, that’s done it, but I know a few a few CIA’s that I used to work with they are now contractors and So I have people that I can speak to it about but I know most contractors They have like at least five years experience at least right yeah It’s hard to be a contractor unless you don’t have a lot of experience yeah Okay, yeah, so definitely another another option there for people I know a lot of people do like moving into the contract side. Yeah, just be yeah you do get paid every hour you work Exactly door-to-door jeez I can only imagine what some of those paychecks look like Exactly especially especially if your study has you flying all over the place right, right Man especially imagine going east to west coast just getting paid to like sit on a plane Exactly, and I know some some CRA s that even did Went to different countries, so they would go over They would go over and like a couple series that I know that did contracting they lived in New York And so they would go over to like London, and he would go over to Where else did he go he went to London and he went to Canada and? He went so a few other places, but he could like Because he went somewhere else where it was a different language, but he could speak the language yeah, so he was fine There are opportunities out there, and you you could say something to this too There are opportunities out there for monitors that do speak other languages to monitor internationally. Do you know anything about that um? There’s definitely Opportunities out there. I’ve seen them on LinkedIn all the time I’ve actually like just looked up some in different countries. Just to see like you know with the You know with the job Areas looking like in those countries, and they have a lot of just as many Maybe not just as many as the US, but they have a lot of CNRI positions open for sure But you do have to speak the language and a lot of the times What will trip you up if you’re coming from the US is? knowing their Local regulations, so if you don’t know their local regulations, and you can’t speak their language you’re not gonna get hired. You know Now obviously it would make it easier if you know you speak the language But you still have to know their local regulations because I have a few ex co-workers that I know interview for positions in other countries But they didn’t get it because they didn’t know the local. They didn’t know enough about the local regulations, okay? Yeah, Wow Yeah, so they’re definitely a lot of opportunities out there for people that want to monitor. That’s good Alright so that’s good there So you’re a CRA you’ve been there for three years Don’t know exactly what you’re gonna be doing next What are some of the best things about being a CRA you would say because everyone wants to be a CRA I I mean I have my thoughts about why, but why do you why do you think people want to be a CRA? I would say maybe the travel You get paid pretty well I’m not what else I mean for me the best things about being a CRA the flexibility you get to make your own schedule Somewhat you know you have to Match it with the site schedule, but for the most part you make your own schedule if you schedule it ahead of time There are some instances where you just have to be gone back-to-back because you may be in like database lock or something like that But for the most part like I said you get to make your own schedule The traveling can get tiring it does get like annoying sometimes but the plus side is you get the points you get the hotel points the airline points the car rental points so if your Traveler like I am that helps a lot when you travel for personal trips and Then also the benefit of working from home because we do travel so much we get to work from home when we are we aren’t at home So I think that definitely helps if you are the type of person that can work for a while Like like you don’t get like sidetracked or anything like that Yeah, but yeah, and I think I mean I think everybody gets a little sidetracked at home. You know, that’s inevitable but Some people just can’t do it at all So yeah okay, so The perks the money, that’s why people want to do it what about? Where was I going with this? What about when are there any like downsides to being a CRA Yeah the traveling the traveling in the different cities depending on how your schedule is set up, but I Mean, I don’t really see a downside Besides that because you know you can easily tire yourself out from all of the traveling depending on the project you want I know when I first got started I was back and forth to the west coast so that was pretty tiring, and I just was doing a lot you know just Travel wise so traveling for business is obviously way different than traveling for pleasure right mm-hmm And and how much RCRA is actually traveling how much do you actually travel? It’s different for every project that I was almost so Definitely for the majority of the time I travel every week Each week is different sometimes. I have one visit a week sometimes I have three visits a week, so it just depends on the month and the project that I’m currently In the transition of getting a new project, and I still have one Old project so currently my travel is like I just do the project for my old study and my new study I’m still doing the training so it’s like but Generally every week it differs on CRA as well because some CRA s That I’ve worked with they like to set their travel up where the first three weeks at a month. They’re traveling the last week They’re home the whole week so it’s dependent on the CRA And if your company if your manager is fine with you doing that because some managers Are like you need to be out every week some managers are fine with as long as you Meet your required metrics for the month. You can set it up However you want if you want to be home in the last week of the month So I would say it’s just depending on the CRA. Okay. How do you like to set your zone? I’m trying to move to a point where I can do the Traveling for three weeks, and then home for one week straight, but that’s traveling every single day, right Four days a week Yeah, but it also depends on when the month because some months will have like you know two extra days After the fourth week like a Monday and Tuesday So it depends on that and then it also depends on your metrics, so Depending on what company you work for depends on how many visits you should be doing a month so I Have set it up. I did that last month, and I did like it I didn’t have a problem with it like I said because I was transitioning between projects It was it was fine. I feel like once I get my new project up and running I’m probably gonna go back to just traveling every week and normally when I travel every week I’m traveling like I’ll leave either on a Monday and come back Come back like Wednesday, or leave on a Tuesday. I come back Thursday or sometimes I do day trips because I live in Atlanta so I can do day trips For my mm-hmm yeah, I like most of time I can get I Can get to the site by 9 o’clock You know getting up early taking a 6:30 flight Why would you want to do that as opposed to like staying over some place Because honestly when you do it for so long for me. I just became tired of staying at hotels I was just like I don’t want to see a hotel I’m tired of hotels, so I started taking day trips, and I just was like gone a lot And I just was like missing my house so I started doing day trips And then my project you can’t do it all the time, but my project was getting to a point where The stuff that I had to review on site it allowed for me to do a day trick because we were getting towards the end of the project and so So yeah, so I can do day trips now with my project because it’s less visits less Less that they have to collect during the visits So it’s not as much information for me to review so the the day trips work fine But but you know of course for like my new study, I know that I’m gonna have to stay the night because This is a whole new study. We’re starting from the beginning. It’s a lot to review So I know I know a day trip is not gonna work Okay, so I like to I like to mix them III mean I don’t have a problem with staying overnight but you Know I just got to a point where my project allowed me to do day trips And I was just tired of staying in hotels, so I did the day trip I don’t mind getting getting up in the morning taking that early flight and then Coming back that same night. I actually preferred it at the time now as of right now Where I am now now, I’m back to doing like overnights. I don’t mind doing overnights before a period I want to say about six months. I was doing day trips. Oh dang Okay, yeah, I know I know people get burnt out being CRA s I know people kind of you know eventually just get tired of it. How do you how do you manage that? Well, I didn’t start doing the day tricks until it was Like my third year in yeah They doing day trips so all before that I was going and staying the night and doing all that so My day trips didn’t start until the third year Er. Eh alright but Yeah, so and it in mind you it’s not for every site, it’s dependent on the site, but Again at the at that point in time when I started doing them And I still do them now for some sites depending on where they’re at Because the project has slowed down so much and because I didn’t have to review I don’t have a lot of information to review. You know like I can go there and be done with work in five hours So you know that’s the type of site that I’m going to because the project has slowed down tremendously, okay? So that’s how I can do a day project because I only have five hours to work of work to do when I get there Okay, you know yeah, that makes sense. What was your question sorry? I just wanted to like further explain like oh How is she doing today – but no I only have about five hours of work Independent on this site. That’s the higher enrollment site. It’s five hours over so my lower enrolling sites. It’s even less time than that Okay So yeah the question was how do you manage like the burnout in the stress, and you know the travel all the time? Oh for the long term because I’m sure when you first become a CRA it’s new exciting. It’s fun You know like you said the first two years, but by year three You know you’re starting to be like okay. I’m kind of tired of hotels now, so how do you manage that? Um I would just say for me when I first started I was always like yeah, I’ll cover this visit. I’ll do this without do this visit Which is fine because you’re a new CRA. You know that’s like that’s normal. I would say for new CRS to be like Yeah, I’ll do this yeah, I’ll go here, I’ll go there good. I’ll do this But I feel like once you feel like you’re getting to a point where you’re just always tired you feel your body burning out definitely Say something to your manager because your manager is it should be the one I say should because it’s not always this way But your manager should be the one to back you up and tell your project You know like you can’t do this visit Or you can’t do this because you just you have to stop like I said when I was first Started as a CRA I was going back and forth to the west coast so you know your manager would in my situation be like you know she can’t Go back to the west coast anymore like no she needs to stay regional she needs to do this So I would say definitely speak with your manager and then just pay attention to your body because a lot of people will overlook it and They’ll just keep going and keep going and then they’ll be burnt out, and they’re now just be quitting without right well I think pay attention to your body don’t be afraid to tell your study team no because Think about it the senior CRS. They have no problem telling people no that they won’t do it some CRS are Super and they’re like supermen and superwomen and they can just go go go go go go but everybody’s not like that so I definitely say don’t be afraid to tell them that you can’t do it because You know just because you need to either. I think you need to get your mind back together get your body back together Or you just need the day to work like you know some people Actually need that day at home to work like they don’t work well in hotels or you know different things like that So I just say always tell people like don’t be afraid to tell them that you can’t do it Don’t feel like you know everything’s gonna go wrong if you can’t do a visit That’s good. It. That’s good advice right there excellent excellent advice One more question then we’re gonna go ahead and wrap wrap up here but I Know CRA is they typically have a window or studies typically have a visit window in which you can schedule your visit And then they’re always they always have metrics for like monitoring like you need to do this many visits a month well How are you able to do personal travel as a monitor and I know a lot of monitors that don’t really take super long personal trips But knowing you personally. How are you? How are you able to take you know some of these long trips and still manage to get your metrics Well for the months that I do take long trips, I do not get my metrics but For that month like I absolutely aim to get my metrics and get my make all of my metrics for the months that I’m You know that I have nothing planned. I make my metrics and that’s fine, but You know I have vacation time for a reason so I use my vacation time and if I happen to plan a long trip, then I mean I Let my study team know ahead of time like you know hey I’m gonna be out for this for this amount of time like in October. I’ll be gone for two weeks on vacation but Like I always do whenever I go on vacation. I took a two-week vacation last year I make sure that I for all of my visits I have completed all my all of my visits within the visit window so I there did it early or it’s not due until After I returned from my vacation so I make sure to schedule my visits like that I make sure that whoever is covering me whatever CRA is cover me They will only have to respond to emails they don’t have to go out and do a visit So they’re only listed as a reference in my email if somebody has a question About the protocol if somebody has a question about how to get access to something Things that you can handle over email no one needs to physically be at their site So that’s really how I handle it, and I let my study teams like I said I let my study teams know well in advance like for that two-month vacation. I let them know three months in advance okay, actually I’ve let I’ve let my My current study team know six months in advance, so they know that I’m gonna be gone And like it’s like I said, I just planned my visits so that I do the visit. I don’t have to Rely on any other CRA to perform my visit That’s it, so you do it earlier in the month, so you just do it like that then Yeah, so like for for my then last year. I went in the middle of the month, so I Compact all of my visits that I need to do Into like those first two weeks And then so that I can make sure I get the report in on time make sure I do all of that But I don’t if I know that I have something like a two week vacation I’m not concerned with meeting my metrics for that month because I know that that’s gonna wear me out like perfectly That’s just gonna wear me out. I’m concerned with making sure that all of my sites have made I have done all of their visits within the visit window and making sure that I just get You know as much done as I can on my end so that You know there’s little for the study team to do while I’m gone Okay, so what happens if you don’t meet metrics. I mean clearly you’ve been you’ve been doing this a while, so nothing like terrible happens But I know a lot of companies will use that for like a bonus a quarterly bonus or something like that They’ll use those metrics to make sure that you’re you know you’re performing You know adequately or above adequately, okay, so what so what really happens if you don’t meet your metrics So it’s really dependent on Your company your manager I’ve been blessed to have pretty good managers Now granted last year was the first time that I’ve taken a two-week occasion normally. It’s like a week or less So that was the first time that I’ve taken that longer vacation, but my manager was great at that time She didn’t have any problems with me taking the vacation She wanted to make sure you know long as everything like I said my first dates were done my reports were done You know pretty much everything that I just went through, but yeah, she didn’t really there wasn’t anything like I didn’t get Reprimanded or anything like that I mean it lose out on the bonus because that one month is included in one of the quarterly bonuses, so Obviously I wouldn’t get the bonus for that month But I mean you know that when you if you plan a two-week vacation. You know you’re gonna miss that bonus unless unless you You make it up in some other way, and I could have done it Because I did have extra visits so sometimes I will put it just depends on how busy my study is Like for last year my study wasn’t that busy so I didn’t have to do I didn’t have to do the extra visits But like the year previous to that I put I think I took a vacation in like June or something and so I had extra visits in May Above my metrics above the required monthly metrics, and I had extra visits in June I mean in July so it kind of evened out what I did in June or what I did June, though Sometimes your manager will want you to do it like that sometimes They won’t really say anything to you more more often than not they’re probably gonna want you to Do more in the months before and after your vacation so that? Even though you didn’t meet the metrics for that month. You meet it for that quarter, okay? All right, so so it’s just a pendant on Manager company that you work for and then your study also because if you don’t have a study That is keeping you busy like that then you can’t You you know you can’t meet metrics like that, but if you’re if you’re on a study, that’s not keeping you busy I would think that your manager is trying to find you something else to do anyway Yeah, that’s true so so it’s just a combination of of both and And even for like my current study that I’m on I think this year last year I didn’t have to do it, but this year. It’s probably gonna be me doing more in September and more in November more visits than the than the monthly number of my Visits all right got it got it. All right. I was like that was like that was a great Question there, I’ve got one last question that I’ve been asking every guest so far so One last question for you not related to clinical research this your answer can be like anything that you just you’ll see so the question is what are you obsessed with right now and It could be anything it could be like you’re obsessed with like you know going for a walk since it’s nice outside now Or you know whatever it is don’t give me some political correct crap about like world peace or something like that What are you truly obsessed with right now? Right now I would say that I’m just obsessed with traveling That’s a good. You’re a CRA then right no I’m just like crazy like just with planning trips, but I’m just trying to get them done and Yeah, so I would say right now. I’m obsessed with not work trouble, but I’m obsessed with Personal travel and visiting different countries and just getting new experiences Yeah, so that would be what I’m obsessed with right now all right, that’s a good one to be obsessed with That’s funny. You said you had to put the stipulation in their personal travel Yeah, personal travel will not work travel work travel. Um you know I’m past that point got it good Got it alright. Well. Thank you so much for coming on the show today I enjoyed it. Okay. Hopefully we’ll see you again soon Anybody who’s still listening right? Now you can comment down below any questions you may have for Tiffany And I’ll forward them to her or you just if you have any questions down below. You can just leave a comment and I’ll respond As always email us at elite clinical group at For any inquiries you may have or anything like that so thanks again Tiffany for coming on the program No problem. Hopefully. We’ll see you again soon All right


  1. Thank you for sharing this conversation, reminded me of my time as a CRA in China, very similar to her experience. I used to confuse about this work development, however, after I stay in Canada for 2 years, I totally changed my mind. Right now, I have more confidence towards this work and I am proud of being a CRA. As you should perform a high standard towards what you do every day to secure the project quality, instead of just kill time there or sacrifice the quality for the quantity. I believe there is meaning for each work, your experience will help you refresh your mind and believe.

  2. Hi there
    I am learning about the field of clinical research and would like to join. I am in the pharmaceutical research field doing analytical development work for sometime, I am not right out of college. A way to get in I keep hearing is to work as an assistant or coordinator, but that would be a significant salary cut. Any recommendations or comments to this concern?

  3. Hi.. I have done my Engineering in Biotechnology. Currently working as Clinical data specialist at IQVIA in India. I am willing to immigrant to Canada. Could you please suggest the possibility of getting job in Canada

  4. I would like this Msc clinical research course and i want to join these course plz give me information to get admission in this course

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