can a pharmacist become a principal investigator of a clinical trial?

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rachyyyy
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im really interested in medicine, specifically clinic trials, but i dont think i could cope with the stress of going to study medicine. I'd love to do clinical trials so it was to ask if i took up pharmacy, specifically clinical pharmacy, could i become a principal investigator?
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lilGem
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
im really interested in medicine, specifically clinic trials, but i dont think i could cope with the stress of going to study medicine. I'd love to do clinical trials so it was to ask if i took up pharmacy, specifically clinical pharmacy, could i become a principal investigator?
I've had a talk on a career in clinical trials so I'm hoping I can give some insight.

The PI (a doctor or similar) of a clinical trial often co-ordiantes with someone who is trained in designing clinical trials i.e. the PI comes to the clinical trial team to co-ordinate and organise one.

It is possible to get into clinical trials with a pharmacy degree, however you will often have to work your way through the ranks and working your way through from assitant to co-ordinator and beyond
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ecolier
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
im really interested in medicine, specifically clinic trials, but i dont think i could cope with the stress of going to study medicine. I'd love to do clinical trials so it was to ask if i took up pharmacy, specifically clinical pharmacy, could i become a principal investigator?
Short answer = yes. I met someone who did exactly this (researching neurological drugs).
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by lilGem)
I've had a talk on a career in clinical trials so I'm hoping I can give some insight.

The PI (a doctor or similar) of a clinical trial often co-ordiantes with someone who is trained in designing clinical trials i.e. the PI comes to the clinical trial team to co-ordinate and organise one.

It is possible to get into clinical trials with a pharmacy degree, however you will often have to work your way through the ranks and working your way through from assitant to co-ordinator and beyond
so i could potentially, with hard work, strive to become a PI with experience? i think I'd really love being a PI but i dont think i could do medicine with junior doctor stress so id like to pursue it through pharmacy if possible haha
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lilGem
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
so i could potentially, with hard work, strive to become a PI with experience? i think I'd really love being a PI but i dont think i could do medicine with junior doctor stress so id like to pursue it through pharmacy if possible haha
As Ecolier said, yes it is possible but time and experience is crucial to move through the ranks
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by ecolier)
Junior doctoring isn't that stressful
i dont think theres any way to get my head around convincing myself to be able to endure being a junior doctor sadly 😂
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by ecolier)
Oh well, if you ever need your mind changing... :rofl3: (no pun intended)
are you a junior doctor then? 😂 im taking from that
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by ecolier)
Yep!
what is it like? junior doctoring scares me so much with the thought of working such unsociable hours and constantly being on-call, i wouldn't be able to turn off from work or sleep haha
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by ecolier)
It really isn't that bad. I have talked about this at length on my other posts - feel free to look through my post history. PM me if you want any more information!
thank you! 😊😊
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
im really interested in medicine, specifically clinic trials, but i dont think i could cope with the stress of going to study medicine. I'd love to do clinical trials so it was to ask if i took up pharmacy, specifically clinical pharmacy, could i become a principal investigator?
It's not very common, especially in the UK. It may be possible in smaller studies however I would be very surprised if a pharmacist was deemed qualified to be PI for a commercial trial.

The vast majority of PIs are medical doctors with substantial experience. This is due to their responsibility to evaluate serious adverse events etc. and generally have the final say in making medical decisions regarding the care of patients. The PI also has the responsibility to sign off all other staff for the study.

It's easy to get confused with US clinical research systems when you look online, as the roles are quite different, however in the UK it tends to be research physicians as PI or Sub-I, research nurses as study coordinators and sometimes clinical trial assistants or technicians working in the lab or assisting with minor procedures or bloods.

Pharmacists can, however, become a CI (chief investigator) who is in charge of trial design. There are also lots of additional supporting roles in the pharmaceutical industry which would enable you to be involved in the running/management/design of a study.
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
It's not very common, especially in the UK. It may be possible in smaller studies however I would be very surprised if a pharmacist was deemed qualified to be PI for a commercial trial.

The vast majority of PIs are medical doctors with substantial experience. This is due to their responsibility to evaluate serious adverse events etc. and generally have the final say in making medical decisions regarding the care of patients. The PI also has the responsibility to sign off all other staff for the study.

It's easy to get confused with US clinical research systems when you look online, as the roles are quite different, however in the UK it tends to be research physicians as PI or Sub-I, research nurses as study coordinators and sometimes clinical trial assistants or technicians working in the lab or assisting with minor procedures or bloods.

Pharmacists can, however, become a CI (chief investigator) who is in charge of trial design. There are also lots of additional supporting roles in the pharmaceutical industry which would enable you to be involved in the running/management/design of a study.
what would happen if i became a pharmacist, could i not train in research at all to boost my chances of being able to become a PI
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
what would happen if i became a pharmacist, could i not train in research at all to boost my chances of being able to become a PI
As stated above, it may be possible on smaller studies or observational studies. Unfortunately this isn't something I do much of personally as I work on larger international pharmaceutical studies.

For larger commercial studies, I have never seen a PI who is not an experienced medical doctor. The role of the PI is to manage the medical care of patients and the running of the study at site. Their main role is medical. They have other research physicians working under them and need to be a source of extensive medical knowledge. As a pharmacist there is no training (other than a medical degree) which would qualify you to do this. As I said above, there are other roles within research you may be qualified for (with additional training) however I would be amazed if any of the larger UK CROs would consider a pharmacist for a PI role. Being a PI is not the only worthwhile or interesting role in research. Why is it that you are only interested in this role?
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rachyyyy
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
As stated above, it may be possible on smaller studies or observational studies. Unfortunately this isn't something I do much of personally as I work on larger international pharmaceutical studies.

For larger commercial studies, I have never seen a PI who is not an experienced medical doctor. The role of the PI is to manage the medical care of patients and the running of the study at site. Their main role is medical. They have other research physicians working under them and need to be a source of extensive medical knowledge. As a pharmacist there is no training (other than a medical degree) which would qualify you to do this. As I said above, there are other roles within research you may be qualified for (with additional training) however I would be amazed if any of the larger UK CROs would consider a pharmacist for a PI role. Being a PI is not the only worthwhile or interesting role in research. Why is it that you are only interested in this role?
i just did find it interesting investigating the overall investigation of the clinical trial
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Grumpig94
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(Original post by rachyyyy)
im really interested in medicine, specifically clinic trials, but i dont think i could cope with the stress of going to study medicine. I'd love to do clinical trials so it was to ask if i took up pharmacy, specifically clinical pharmacy, could i become a principal investigator?
In theory, anyone can be a PI there aren't any particular qualifications you need (although if you're working with CTIMPs then you would most likely need to have some kind of relevant qualification to understand SUSARs, but if you're a pharmacist then I'm sure that would be sufficient).

I don't know whether I'm mis-interpreting your post but just as an aside - PI isn't a job title it's a role within a study. So where I work, pretty much all of our PIs are consultants first and foremost then do trials on the side if that makes sense? They're often PI for a number of trials then sub-I for others too. We have a separate clinical trials pharmacy department so that would probably be a good place to start if you're interested in pharmacy and trials
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