CRCs are the face of clinical trials – meet Arielle Lapid
Categories: For Healthcare Professionals
Arielle Lapid is a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator for Qcare, an IQVIA™ company. Arielle holds a BS in clinical research from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In her free time, she enjoys thoroughbred horse racing, painting, and baseball.
Question: How long have you worked in clinical research and how did you get started in the industry?
A: It has been a wonderful and exciting 4 years working on clinical trials. My introduction to research was unconventional, as this introduction occurred through my favorite pastime: thoroughbred horse racing. At the time, a professor at the university I was attending was conducting research on a vaccine for the equine herpes virus that was showing great potential in treating an aggressive form of brain cancer. One thing led to another, which led to an internship at New Hanover Regional Medical Center working with physicians and residents in protocol development and study design with rotations throughout the residency programs of internal medicine, cancer, obstetrics and gynecology, and surgery. I had spent years believing I was going to be a horse racing reporter, and now, with a turn of events, I’m happily a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) for Qcare IQVIA.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: It has been a very special experience to know that the work I do every day is an investment in the health and well-being of patients both at present and in the future. Working in neonatal medicine for the first 3 years of my career, I have a sentimental drive for research. Neonatal medicine is a fairly new discipline in that only in the 1970s was there the technology available for the life-saving care of premature babies, and now in 2019 we are able to save babies born 23 weeks premature! How was that made possible? Through the efforts of researchers before me and the brave parents who persevered when there were no options for standard of care in a developing field of medicine. Working now in primarily adult medicine, the knowledge that my daily work will provide better care options for the children who were my first patients when they reach adulthood in 14–15 years is extremely gratifying. I can’t believe some of my first study patients are now sassy and thriving 4-year-olds!
Q: What is the toughest part of your job?
A: Though there are logistical challenges that come with every career, as a CRC you have to have an innate attitude of “there’s no such thing as the impossible.” The work of a CRC is to bring alternative care options to the patients you serve. In other words, you’re the fairy godmother of patients who may have run out of standard-of-care options for the treatment of their conditions. Make it happen.
Q: What advice would you give to a patient who is apprehensive to join a clinical trial?
A: There are many reasons I have encountered as a CRC as to why a patient would be apprehensive in joining a clinical trial. Mostly these apprehensions are centered on fear – whether it be fear of “Am I getting the care that I need?” or fear of the unknown, hence the scary association attributed to the word “research.” As a patient in a clinical trial myself, I would emphasize that clinical trials are a collaborative effort between a physician and a patient. The purpose of research is to improve medical care – if at any point you experience discomfort, that information is vital not only for your care but also for the care of others like you. As research is a comprehensive look into a patient’s well-being, have confidence in the knowledge that a team of healthcare professionals will be there to support you and are looking out for your health and well-being. Get to know your team: the physician, nurse, and especially the research coordinator who will be your guide through this unique and altruistic experience.
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