Like many others in the clinical trial industry, Ahmad Namvargolian, CEO and founder of Care Access Research LLC, “randomly stumbled” into the research world. “I had a background in engineering and biology and quality management, and I ended up” entering the field, he says.
Today, he’s a skilled professional at an organization that helps doctors become more comfortable about getting involved in clinical trials. His firm provides the training, staff, administration, and other resources to build a high-quality research program within the existing clinical practice of doctors who are already at the top of their field in terms of commitment and expertise.
Namvargolian fondly remembers mentors who helped him navigate his early days. He found them to be particularly important when he discovered the clinical trial workforce landscape lacked “formal infrastructure [and offered] no formal education.” Mentors often served as much-needed unofficial guideposts as he worked to craft his own career path. They also helped reduce his learning curve and avoid common pitfalls.
Now, Namvargolian wants to give back. He’s joined ACRP’s Mentor Match program because he believes “we owe it to each other” in the clinical trial space to reduce the burden on newer entrants and find ways to waste less time repeating the same mistakes over and over.
“We should build off each other’s work and spend more energy learning how to improve our processes” together as an industry, Namvargolian says.
Mentor Match is an online tool for ACRP members to establish mentoring relationships to support their professional development needs.
In addition to providing personal satisfaction, acting as a mentor can serve as something of a career “tune-up,” Namvargolian says. The act of mentoring helps mentors do their job better for several reasons, not least of which is it helps remind them of valuable best practices or shortcuts they may have forgotten. “By helping others, you’re helping yourself, too,” he adds.
He also advises that those who are considering partnering with a mentor not let shyness or “stigma” hold them back. “There’s nothing wrong with always learning,” he says. “There shouldn’t be any stigma about being an apprentice.”
Author: Michael Causey