Disruption, Disruption, What’s Your Function?

Susan P. Landis

Clinical Researcher—November 2021 (Volume 35, Issue 8)


Susan P. Landis, Executive Director of ACRP


The topic of disruption is everywhere these days. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the pressure. There’s a disruption in the supply chain—get those presents ordered now! There’s disruption in the way clinical trials are being conducted—are you confused about decentralized clinical trials (DCTs)? And, like most of you I suspect, my planned routine is disrupted daily, be it by an unexpected meeting or a child calling from college worried about an economics exam.

Whether a mere distraction, a true disruption, or a delightful surprise, the purpose of an interruption is to, I believe, make us take notice. And that’s not a bad thing. Here’s how I have been handling the deluge of change that’s been occurring recently for me on a day-to-day basis.

Listen and learn. ACRP members are on the front line of making clinical research concepts a reality. I’m excited about the perspectives being shared on many issues. Check out what some of our experts are saying on DCTs here and here. There’s also a new study from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development on how site personnel race and ethnicity correlate with the diversity of patients enrolled that will be showcased in an in ACRP webinar on December 8.

Share. Recently, ACRP Fellows held an informative late afternoon session on DCTs. The presentation from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert was rich with detail. What made the event rewarding was the conversation among those who attended—who says virtual meetings can’t be engaging! Whether you’re speaking with colleagues about the challenges of a protocol or your strategy for ensuring holiday presents are ordered, the camaraderie that is built through sharing experiences is, well, priceless. An easy place to connect is through the ACRP Community, where there are daily discussions about hot topics in clinical research.

Take time and take care. A friend and colleague shared with me the other day that during an especially busy time, a study principal investigator called her to check in and to ask if she was doing well. This interruption in her day was an unexpected surprise, and it made a big difference in how she felt about putting in extra hours to deliver on tight deadlines. The next several weeks are only going to get busier, so take time to check in with those you care about—and especially with yourself. For me, that means prioritizing those unexpected personal calls in the middle of the day to calm nerves about college curriculums.

A big thanks to all our ACRP members—the disruptors and those making the disruption functional on the front line. We appreciate you and all that you do!