How to find a clinical research job that emphasizes the clinical

May 7, 2020
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I'm looking for a job for next year, and I'd really like to get involved in clinical research. I have a lot of basic science research, and I'd like to continue in med school. I'm imagining this is going to be clinical, so I'd like to try and get experience with that now. I've seen this topic debated before where people wonder if their clinical research is truly considered clinical or not (IE, are they just looking at charts or interacting with patients). If I can find opportunities, what kinds of questions should I ask about the job? Just ask how much actual patient exposure I will have, and try to figure it out based on the role description?

On the other hand, maybe I should look for a strict clinical job because I do have clinical experiences, but I also have a lot of research. I'd like to explore clinical research more, but I don't want there to be doubts about my motivations for medicine.


In addition to this, I'm looking into strictly clinical jobs right now with local hospitals, and all of the positions that involve patient care seem to involve some kind of certification or further schooling. Does anyone know if I'd have better luck reaching out to private practices for these types of positions? I'm wondering if private practices would be more willing to take someone and train them vs. the big commercial hospitals. I would look into scribing, but I've heard the pay isn't great. I need something to support myself.
 
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QuizzicalApe

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Unsure what qualifications you have or where you are located, but academic institutions often are looking for clinical trial coordinators. This is a position that at least at my affiliated hospital generally comprises a lot of young folks out of college who work for 1-2 years before going on to medical school. Gets exposure to research, sometimes they get opportunities for authorships/posters, and they interact with patients as well as needed for the trials they're working on.
 
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sp021

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You could check out the NIH IRTA program and specify in your application that you're interested in clinical research. Not sure if this is the case for all clinical labs, but my work involves lots of patient interaction. Plus, NIH has tons of great resources and workshops for premeds and truly wants to help us succeed. I've really enjoyed my experience!
 
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May 7, 2020
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As a follow up to this thread, would taking a basic science research job raise eyebrows for me about my commitment to clinical medicine? I've been working in basic science research for a few years already. I just need a new job right now for money. I'm looking for clinical stuff, but I've seen postings for basic science research positions and I figured since I already have experience with the techniques they use, I should apply for them.
 

LizzyM

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You need the money. You have skills people are willilng to pay for. You have clinical experience and if there is any way to can manage to continue to get clinical experience during the pandemic (likely in a volunteer capacity) then that would be gravy.

Most "clinical" research either requires a credential or supervision/training (e.g. drawing blood, obtaining vital signs, conducting examinations), is limited to phone/email scheduling, and/or is regulatory paperwork at arms length from patients/participants. YMMV.
 
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