BioTel Research Blog

January 04, 2018

How to Bolster Your Confidence and Productivity by Joining a Professional Society

iStock_000019297331_Medium-1.jpgClinical researchers have a zeal for excellence and an innate sense of purpose. We care deeply about healthcare and we want to see lives bettered and saved. Yet in spite of this noble drive, the daily rigor of standard procedures, meeting deadlines, and performing our fair share of tedious tasks can sometimes slow down our professional metabolism. Because we are an ethical and devoted type, we wish we could always be at our best. That dissonance can gnaw at our esteem—but after all we’re only human. Now that being said…the folks at BioTelemetry Research happen to be a uniquely fortunate lot; it’s quickly apparent to any new hire that ours is a supportive team culture with a readiness to show appreciation and work together tightly. Yet, there is a supplement available that can really bolster your professional fitness and bring even more joy to your work. The “great hack” for getting that extra jolt and bringing fresh oxygen into your work-a-day routine is to join a professional organization. And not just join, but join in, get involved, and challenge yourself to grow!

Some may say, “Professional societies are passé. I have all the connection I need through social media and office interactions.” But take a moment to consider what you might be missing…My experience has been that nothing fuels my drive for personal excellence like being connected with a large group of professional peers, those who understand exactly what I do as well as the struggles (and victories) unique to my profession.

For several years I’ve been a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), a professional society whose mission is to “promote excellence in medical communication and to provide educational resources in support of that goal.” As a national group, AMWA also has regional chapters in the USA and Canada. Similar to other such societies, they offer professional certification, workshops, seminars, webinars, a quarterly journal, networking events, and an annual national conference. Being specialists in communication, AMWA also features lively discussion boards, blogs, and web-based and twitter newsfeeds.  

Though I’ve also attended several regional events, I recently went to my second national conference. This year’s four-day event took place in Disney’s convention center in Orlando with approximately seven hundred attending. The comprehensive schedule included over 30 intensive workshops (which required several hours of homework each for one selected), nearly 40 open-sessions, and over 50 roundtable discussions. Topics ran the gamut from management of large medical writing teams to current scientific matters, and of course included thorough discussion of writing/editing techniques. Inspiring presentations by award recipients enriched the gatherings.

Getting involved in a professional society has benefitted me in many ways. AMWA’s professional development program is excellent and wide-ranging, going into depth in the field’s various specialties (regulatory, scientific publication, marketing, and medical education). Nonetheless, the greatest impact has been the exposure to and interaction with veteran professionals. Similar to the BioTelemetry Research culture, AMWA is also made up of folks who welcome opportunities to teach and learn from one another. For me, getting involved, the combination of the professional education, interaction with others, and volunteering (writing journal content and presenting at a regional event) has revved my confidence and compounded my value and effectiveness. Here are some other examples of professional organizations relevant to clinical research:

  • Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM)
  • Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)
  • Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA)
  • Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS)
  • Society for Clinical Trials (SCT)
  • Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R)

So “be good to your professional self” and find out about a society that applies to your position. After all we’re human, and strong social connections bring about deep fulfillment. Joining a professional society (and joining in) could be the key that turns your job into a true vocation!

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Written by Liz Kuney, MS CCRP

Liz is the Senior Medical Writer at BioTelemetry Research

BioTel Research, One Preserve Parkway, Suite #600, Rockville, MD 20852