I got a job offer – two in fact!

Just Kidding – sorry, bad joke

If my boss is reading this, calm down. I just wanted a catchy title for this post, I love my current job and actually like everyone I work with – don’t worry – I’m not jumping ship today.

In 2007, on this day, I started The Lead CRA blog

(because I did have two CRA employment offers)

My original post was titled “The Offer(s)” and that is where my journey into the blogosphere began.  I’d been working in Data Management and then as an in-house Clinical Research Associate (CRA).  I’d purchased a beautiful home in San Francisco with my boyfriend (now husband), I had a fun car to drive, I was the proud owner of two kissy little yorkies, I had an amazing boss that I absolutely adored (and I still love hanging out with her!) and life was pretty great.

The yorkies really don't get excited about the suitcase

“Mom, don’t leave us. Anyway, this suitcase is way too big!”

Build a “ClinOps Toolkit”

So why then, 6 some-odd years ago (geeze, it feels like it has been longer!), did I pack a suitcase, get on a plane, and hit the road as a Regional CRA. I talked to my boss at the time about my professional goals and we both agreed that I would benefit from transitioning to a Contract Research Organization (CRO) so I could bridge the experience I’d had working in-house with the experience of in-depth, focused, on-site monitoring and site management.

She said I needed to go out in the world and build my “ClinOps Toolkit”.  She explained that you need to do the work of monitoring to understand the site’s perspective of clinical operations. I knew the sponsor-side because I had been involved in protocol development/execution, clinical data management/listings review, and I had traveled domestically and internationally for her to monitor our Phase I pulmonary trials and visit study centers in inspection preparation for a New Drug Application. I agreed with her and I was excited about more regional monitoring so I accepted a position at a CRO I liked, headed to new-hire orientation, and I got to work.

Hmmm, hope I don’t owe that first boss royalties from every post since she came up with the name of this blog. Maybe a nice lunch will do?

Looking Back, I Have No Regrets

I know I picked the right CRO.  Some of the wonderful monitors I met are now guest contributors on this blog (check out Heidi and Luizinha – they’re awesome!) and I had so many cool project teams and interesting trials to work on.  I met Study Coordinators that I am still in touch with today and I visited some amazing institutions and gorgeous cities in the United States and Canada.  I loved the travel and I was so energized walking through the airport terminals, Starbuck’s in hand, feeling in command of everything.  I liked the hotel points and loyalty programs and I ate at a different restaurant every night.  I took over 15,000 photos (mostly of planes and food -hehehe) and I entertained myself by checking out the new cities I traveled to every night and back in the hotel room I would tag and organize all those pictures on flickr.

I’ve Stuck With This Blog Project the Past Six Years

I’m so glad that I started The Lead CRA blog back in 2007.  I have met so many wonderful and talented people through this project.  I receive emails from blog readers every week – from all over the world!  I took a look back at some of the blog statistics and The Lead CRA blog readers tracked well over 90,000 visits.

Over 40 percent of the blog visitors are from other continents

Over 40 percent of the ClinOps Toolkit blog visitors are from outside North America – neat!

I have not visited some of these cities yet but look who is checking out the blog

I have not even visited some of these cities yet, but look at who is checking out the blog!

Thank You – Let’s Hangout Soon

Today I just wanted to say thank you again for following along, suggesting great topics, and participating in the exchange.

To celebrate my blogging anniversary, I will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” event in San Francisco this Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm PST.  This will be the 6th meetup for the Bay Area ClinOps Toolkit Networking Group (3 month anniversary for the group) and we can celebrate my 6th anniversary of blogging. You are all invited.  If you can’t make it to the city, you can still participate in our meetup “virtually”. You can dial-in to the meetup right from your computer, no matter what timezone you’re in.  The details to RSVP for the meetup are listed at the ClinOps Toolkit Events page*.  You can also email [email protected] if you want to secure your spot.

*I will be posting information in the newsletter about how to join us on Tuesday so be sure to sign up. Don’t miss out on the event details or future ClinOps Toolkit updates.  


About The Author


Nadia Bracken, lead contributor to the Lead CRA blog and the ClinOps Toolkit blog, is a Clinical Program Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1 Comment

  • Alaina Dixon

    Alaina Dixon

    October 12, 2013

    Congrats, Nads! Keep up the good work!

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