Terri Hinkley talks clinical research at EMU

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals Interim Executive Director Terri Hinkley said Monday night that clinical research is not recognized as a profession.

The Clinical Research Administration Program held its 12th annual Distinguished Speaker Series. Director of the Clinical Research Administration Program Stephen Sonstein invited Hinkley.

“I picked her because she is the interim director of the organization, which is the primary professional organization which represents the students when they graduate from the program,” Sonstein said. “This is explaining where the profession is right now and where it has yet to go.”

Throughout the lecture, 30 students and clinical researchers answered questions and saw the group’s answers through an interactive phone survey program.

Hinkley said there is not a focus on the training and education of clinical researchers.

“It seems to me we’re looking at the minimum amount we can do without looking at how we impact performance,” Hinkley said.

Clinical research associate professor Irwin Martin said the lecture gave a good overview of the profession.

“She’s making some important points that impact our profession and therefore our students,” he said.

Clinical research graduate student, Steve Koski, said the lecture made him think about what professionalism means and how money drives getting things accredited and certified.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “It was great to actually hear someone in the real world involved in the program.”

Hinkley said she thinks it is important to get in touch with clinical research students.

“Issues like this, I think it’s the sort of thing we should be talking about,” she said. “Clinical research professionals should be considering the context of their own practice. So I hoped it would be a little thought provoking and interesting for them.”

She said this problem is an evolutionary problem.

“Nurses went through the exact same thing,” she said. “Nurses started out as handmaidens and sort of had to develop their own body of knowledge and demonstrate that value. I think it’s a similar path. I think there are a lot of professions that have gone there before us, but many of them by the virtue of the work we’re doing in the health field.”

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