Have you ever been to a family gathering or class reunion and found yourself in a conversation with someone you haven’t seen for years?
You sit around late into the evening telling stories and laughing over the times you spent together. You probably share stories about what you’ve been doing while apart for all this time. These stories help you reconnect and get to know each other.
Or maybe you’ve had the opportunity to listen to your parents or grandparents talk about their lives.
They tell stories that give you a new perspective and appreciation for what they have accomplished. You understand them better and probably feel closer to them. You can see how their experiences have shaped you – so you learn a bit about yourself too.
The same thing happens when people who have dedicated their lives to chasing new treatments and cures get together to tell their stories. They open up and start to talk about how it felt to stumble upon a new journal article that sparked an idea, to get the first positive experimental results in a program, or to find out that it was time to go back to the drawing board. They express regret at mistakes they may have made or frustrations about how hard it is to get through clinical trials. They reveal who they really are and what makes them tick.
We all have romantic ideas about scientists working late into the evening or doctors dropping everything to answer a phone call about a patient. You can almost envision the moment when one of those researchers finally solves an intellectual puzzle and leaps into action. Their eyes go from an empty stare to an alert laser-like focus. They sit a bit taller and start to read frantically. I am sure you’ve seen those movies too.
That’s what we intend to explore in our new podcast, “Improbable Developments.”
Each month we are going to talk to someone who was in the trenches of R&D and let them tell their story. We’ll be talking about medicines you may know and some that never saw the light of day. We’ll talk to people involved at the bench in the earliest stages through to those who run the clinical trials and present the data to regulators around the world.
The science of drug discovery and development creates a rich landscape for all sorts of stories to unfold. The technical challenges, the urgency to help patients, career aspirations, the fight for resources, and many other factors all work together to produce a complex and enthralling human drama. In our monthly discussions, we will look at this from many different angles.
Through our discussions, we hope to give you a real appreciation for the types of people behind the medicines you take and the medical devices you may use. You’ll get to know each of them a little bit better and start to understand what they have in common and how different and unique they really are.
As patients+ (patients, caregivers, and advocates), you’ll learn how much these people care about you and this will help you approach them with confidence. When you ever get the opportunity to speak with them, you’ll be better able to influence their thinking.
As healthcare professionals and even investigators, you’ll gain a better feel for what it would be like to move into the medical product development field full-time. You just may find yourself looking for new career opportunities.
Our first episode will be released on September 1st. Watch for announcements about how to subscribe.