How long have you worked at MAC?
Since September 2020
Current job role/title
Clinical Research Physician
Have you held previous job title/roles?
What is it like to work at MAC?
MAC supports their employees, providing training, mentorship, and good leadership. There is a clear structure with policies in place which help guide us in the workplace and regular teaching and training sessions. Medics have twice monthly ‘medics meetings’ providing 1 hour of CPD and structured to cover our learning needs.
Working as a CRP means I continue to use my core knowledge of physiology, pathology, anatomy, pharmacology and biochemistry combined with developing my understanding of disease processes, treatments, drugs and other medical interventions that can potentially halt or reverse diseases. In addition to using my clinical knowledge, communication skills (whether that’s directly to patients or training colleagues) which were developed throughout my medical and GP training are put into good use whether that consenting a patient or training colleagues.
MAC fosters my professional commitments to participants in trials and facilitates working to the highest standards of ethical conduct and probity. MAC is what working for the NHS should be like – great staffing ratios, adequately resourced sites and as a result, satisfied patients, and happy staff.
Can you comment on the company culture?
As a company, MAC is dynamic. If a colleague identifies that something could be done better, resulting in improved outcomes (not just productivity but improving workload, patient experience), then the changes are trialled. MAC encourages professional development and rewards hardworking, competent staff through training opportunities and promotions. Such opportunities may result in the immediate team losing a valued member to another department; however, this is the sign of great leadership.
Although we run clinical trials, we make the individual patient our first concern and prioritise their needs. Many of us at MAC used to work for the NHS and we want to continue to make a positive difference to patient’s lives and to society. Working at MAC allows us to do this.
What do you like about your job?
Working at MAC offers me the work-life balance I have always strived to have. During working hours, I have time to complete mandatory training and coming from the NHS, this not something I was used to, having to do this in my own time. I have a flexible working pattern which has allowed me to work more hours during term time and reduce my hours during school holidays. The additional days I work have allowed me to develop my role as a Clinical Research Physician; seeing more patients; being a lead for numerous studies, designing documents, recruitment strategies, training staff, creating safety reports to name but a few additional skills I now have.
The role of CRP at MAC has meant I continue to have patient contact while developing my skill set, research experience and problem-solving.
Our site manager is wonderful. She supports us in career development, training opportunities, and leads by example. Her management skills are exceptional, and retention of staff and staff satisfaction reflects her hard work. There is healthy competition between sites to have the best KPIs and this allows for team building and bonding.
What are the challenges?
I fell into the role of CRP by chance, stumbling on the job advertisement and knowing nothing of the industry and had no experience running clinical trials. So, at the start it was a steep learning curve. There is healthy competition between sites to have the best KPIs and this allows for team building and bonding. But what differentiated my learning at MAC was that it was ‘on the job’. I was given time each day to read protocols, read SOPs and observe. Indeed, I asked my line manager if I was allowed to do this during working hours, having previously done all my learning in my own time. Given the support, mentorship, and dedicated time to learn I was able to quickly develop, and progression has been rapid.