The More Things Change…

Clinical Researcher—June 2020 (Volume 34, Issue 6)


Jim Kremidas


Many aspects of most people’s home and work lives have fallen prey to unprecedented upheavals since Clinical Researcher’s editorial calendar was first crafted for 2020, but it still makes a lot of sense that the original idea for this issue was to focus much of its contents on change management. Although world events of late have caused most contributors to want to write about other timely topics in the clinical research enterprise, including lessons being learned from how professionals in the field are adjusting to the “new normal” and how efficient and ongoing training remains the bedrock of a sterling clinical trials workforce, in a way, we are still dealing with change as a motivator for improvement in these pages.

Whether you’re working from home for the first time, or juggling childcare now that schools and summer camps are generally closed, times like these emphasize the inevitability of change and the importance of intelligent change management.

On the positive side, the clinical trial industry has risen to the challenge of the pandemic with inspired work and a new sense of collaboration. We’ve made great strides toward embracing decentralized trials, remote technologies, and pursuing other advancements that will hopefully make clinical trial even more patient-centric and effective in the years to come.

Yes, change is inevitable. However, we have a choice in how we respond to change. Do we resist? Do we try to ignore or minimize it? Or do we accept it and find ways to bring out the positive elements?

We on the ACRP staff have done some survey work of our own in recent weeks to try and determine what clinical trial professionals have learned during this unprecedented experience. We’ll be sharing our findings very soon. Watch this space.

What I’d like to highlight right now is that, even as some clinical trials begin to resume onsite and, in pockets of the country at least, the pandemic appears to be subsiding, we have the opportunity to use some of this relative “down time” to become better at our jobs. That can mean pursuing additional training, participating in one of ACRP’s virtual conferences, or writing for ACRP’s Clinical Researcher and sharing your knowledge with others.

Those are just a few ideas, of course. There are many other ways for you to grow and further contribute to the clinical trial mission of advancing medicines, alleviating suffering, and prolonging life. As the old saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” As far-reaching as the changes we are living through now may turn out to be for the healthcare industry at large, the underlying calling for clinical researchers everywhere to excel individually and for the profession to improve universally remains the same.

Thank you again for all you do. Your work has never been more important—or appreciated.

Jim Kremidas ( is Executive Director for ACRP.