ACRP Task Force to Establish Clinical Research Associate Competencies

With more than three decades of experience with pharmaceutical and medical organizations, Mary Pat Higley of Newport Beach, California, serves as a self-employed medical utilization review consultant. Mary Pat Higley also stays abreast of developments in her field by maintaining membership with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).

In a recently released statement, the ACRP announced that it has created a task force dedicated to determining the core competencies for entry-level clinical research associates (CRAs). The multi-stakeholder task force was proposed after the ACRP issued a position paper that examined the existing CRA workforce and appealed for competence-based employment practices to replace the established two-year experience obligation for new CRAs.

According to a top official at ACRP, the two-year experience requirement is arbitrary, creates a CRA shortage in the clinical research industry, and fails to advance clinical research quality. The task force will work to determine the necessary competencies for entry-level CRAs and create measures of competence. Subsequently, the task force will promote the adoption of the defined CRA competencies throughout the clinical research establishment.

Winning the Career Golden Slam in Tennis

An experienced pharmacist and clinical researcher, Mary Pat Higley works as an independent medical consultant. Beyond her professional activities, Mary Pat Higley enjoys following and playing tennis.

The career Golden Slam ranks as one of the rarest achievements in professional tennis. Only four singles players have accomplished the feat. A career Grand Slam, an impressive accolade in its own right, involves winning each of the sport’s four major tournaments at least once. Players who manage to win a gold medal at the Olympics in addition to their Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open titles are considered to have won a career Golden Slam.

Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal are the only two male players to secure the Golden Slam as singles players. Agassi won his first major tournament at Wimbledon in 1992. He completed the career Golden Slam at the 1999 French Open, having earned gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the first of Nadal’s nine Roland-Garros trophies came in 2005. After winning Wimbledon and a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics during the summer of 2008, Nadal rounded out the Golden Slam with titles at the 2009 Australian Open and 2010 U.S. Open.

Steffi Graf, wife of Agassi, became the only singles player to complete a calendar year Golden Slam with her stellar 1988 season. Over the course of the year, she took all four major championships, adding to her 1987 Roland-Garros title, and finished with gold at the Seoul Summer Olympics. Serena Williams completed the Golden Slam in 2001. She is the only player in tennis history to hold career Golden Slam victories in both singles and doubles.

Basic Requirements of Therapy Dogs and Handlers

Mary Pat Higley is a medical consultant and data analyst based in Newport Beach, California. Away from her professional life, Mary Pat Higley enjoys a number of personal interests, including therapy dog training.

Official therapy dog certification testing, as administered by Therapy Dogs International (TDI), involves a comprehensive evaluation of both the handler and dog, as well as a careful analysis of how the person and animal operate as a team. However, there are several basic requirements a dog must meet prior to engaging in TDI therapy dog testing. First, a dog must be at least one year old and in good health to qualify for therapy dog consideration. Handlers, meanwhile, must meet TDI standards of strong character. While handlers are not subject to any age restrictions, individuals under the age of 18 must have the support of a parent or adult guardian.

Dog owners also should be aware that TDI instructors initiate the evaluation process from the moment they meet the handler and dog. In other words, any relevant behavior demonstrated prior to or following official testing can be taken into consideration in regards to certification. Furthermore, any handler intent on registering multiple dogs must test their dogs together so the animals can be evaluated as a team.