How to get selected for clinical research
In last month’s column we explored the physician perspective for entrée into the sphere of clinical research. This month’s reveals the industry perspective on what is valuable in a physician regarding clinical studies, with three industry insiders providing a fair appraisal of the qualities and qualifications they seek in physicians partnering with industry in research.
These experts’ experience encompass a broad landscape of dermatology, from medical to aesthetic dermatology, medications to devices, and personal education from M.D. to Ph.D. and businessperson. Special thanks to Conor Gallagher, Ph.D. (Director of Medical Affairs, Allergan), Alessandra Nogueira, M.D. (Aesthetics & Corrective Medical Director, Galderma), and Marcel Besse (Executive Director, Lutronic & former President North America, BTL Industries) for their participation.
How and where to start
If you have a research concept, these experts agree that discussing it with an appropriate company medical science liaison (MSL) is the first appropriate step. According to Gallagher, “MSLs will be able to discuss research capabilities and experience and pass on the information to the appropriate group in the company Clinical Development or Medical Affairs departments.” Besse also suggests getting to know upper management involved in product development and medical affairs. Alternatively, he suggests that contacting a person you trust at the company “is always a good way to start the process.”
What type of study to start varies and there are multiple avenues to success. Novices in the field might benefit from conducting a small study that is observational or a review of the literature, according to Nogueira. Gallagher advises that “the best way to get involved in clinical research is [by] acting as a sub-investigator for an experienced investigator on a company sponsored clinical trial.” He asserts this is an excellent opportunity to build a skill set required for a successful physician clinician. Besse suggests that being a part of a multi-site study is another excellent opportunity, especially if a trial is straightforward and without requirements for pain management, histology or invasive procedures.