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Another Clinical Research Secret

December 30, 2021

In the December 2016 Editor's Corner ("So You Say You Want to Be a Clinical Researcher?"), Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS, offered advice for fellows and trainees who have set their hearts on becoming academic hematologists, including finding a good mentor and being a "short order chef" who has projects on the stovetop constantly simmering.

Readers wrote in with their suggestions, including Susan B. Shurin, MD, who sent her own clinical research secret aspiring researchers should know.

To the Editor:

Mikkael Sekeres offers excellent advice on becoming a clinical researcher to which I would like to add one more: physical presence in the clinic and with co-investigators.

When I was a resident, infectious disease researchers were conducting the first pediatric studies of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. The infectious disease fellow running the study stopped in the emergency room three times a day (minimum) to see if we had offered enrollment to every eligible patient and to cheer us on. That study raced to completion, while others languished.

Similarly, when study chairs from the Children's Oncology Group called to see if we had any concerns about their studies, they enrolled patients, while other research groups' trials were stuck.

Including the ground troops and projecting enthusiasm are crucial.

Susan B. Shurin, MD
ASH Treasurer and Senior Adviser to the
Center for Global Health
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

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Mid-November 2022


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