The clinical research industry employs thousands of well qualified healthcare professionals or clinical research support staff with relevant credentials. According to ICH-GCP guidelines clinical research professionals should be well qualified with respect to education, experience and training. Both MBBS and BDS graduates are thus preferred in the industry and have good prospects for career growth. As clinical research involves experimentation on human subjects the responsibility is primarily shouldered by principal investigators who are highly qualified medical practitioners usually with MD and Advanced degrees.
Clinical research courses for dentists pave way for more than a single work line in clinical research. This niche area not only includes experimentation on human subjects but also comprises of allied activities revolving around clinical trial preparations, clinical data analysis, quality assurance, preparing clinical study reports for regulatory bodies, managing drug safety, clinical trial monitoring etc.
Since dentists are well versed with complex medical and pharmaceutical jargon, have good understanding of human physiology, anatomy and pharmacology, this makes them a natural fit to work in clinical research departments. One can envision and lay hands on a career path in Clinical Operations e.g. as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA), Sr. CRA, Clinical Trial Manager etc. or as a regulatory affairs professional involved in developing manuscripts for necessary regulatory submissions. Areas such as Quality Assurance, Pharmacovigilance and Data Management can also be explored.
Quality assurance includes protocol adherence and resolving issues pertaining to safety and well being of patients involved in clinical trials as per applicable guidelines and regulations. Quality matters everywhere and clinical research is no exception. The emphasis on quality is further more critical in this area. Learned professionals who can bring in the required medical experience such as dentists are a perfect fit.
Pharmacovigilance is the pharmacological science pertaining to the compilation, discovery, evaluation, monitoring, and avoidance of adverse effects with pharmaceuticals. A thorough understanding of an adverse effect of a particular drug when consumed requires medical back ground or strong grounding in drug metabolic lifecycle. Clinical research courses for dentists that focus on pharmacovigilance will provide necessary inputs for a promising career as a Drug Safety Associate or a Drug Safety Executive.
Data Management is about managing clinical trial data and to ensure that the data collected is clean, accurate and free of errors. Careers that can be explored by dentists in this area are Data Coordinator, Data Reviewer etc.
Another exciting area of specialization is Medical Writing. It is the presentation of promising research outcomes in a lucid way that will create a lot of impact in the minds of the readers. A medical writer requires specialized skills to understand the research, critically evaluate the current needs of society and publish the same to make it more accepted by the public. It is a doubled edged knife and a dentist can aptly fit in this area and the industry needs such professionals with good writing skills.
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