In recent times, LinkedIn has transformed from a platform for professional networking to a sounding board for industry grievances. Clinical research sites, in particular, have been vocal about their challenges, leading to a mix of genuine concerns and performative complaints. To delve deeper into this evolving landscape, I sat down with Paradigm Clinical Research’s CEO Kurt Mussina. In our candid conversation, Mussina sheds light on the current discourse on LinkedIn, the challenges research sites face, and the importance of constructive dialogue. Here’s what he had to say.
Moe Alsumidaie: I’m interested in this topic because I’ve noticed a trend of people from clinical research sites posting complaints without offering solutions. What prompted you to share your observations about the change in content on LinkedIn, especially concerning the clinical research community?
Kurt Mussina: I’ve observed a concerning trend, especially from clinical research sites. They often voice complaints about how sponsors and CROs treat them. While there are genuine issues, many posts lack solutions. LinkedIn used to be a place for networking and professional growth. But now, it’s becoming a sounding board for repetitive complaints, especially from clinical research sites.
Moe Alsumidaie: Why do you think people complain without offering solutions?
Kurt Mussina: It’s a complex issue. Some might see LinkedIn evolving into a platform similar to Facebook or Twitter, where attention-seeking is common. There’s also the possibility that some individuals haven’t thought their posts through or are just echoing popular sentiments for visibility. It’s essential to differentiate between genuine concerns and bandwagoning.
Moe Alsumidaie: How can one differentiate between genuine grievances and performative ones?
Kurt Mussina: Genuine grievances usually include specific details, like particular incidents or challenges, and often suggest potential solutions. In contrast, performative posts might be vague, lack substance, and can be overly emotional. For instance, if someone keeps posting about the same issue without ever delving into details or suggesting remedies, it might be more for show.
Moe Alsumidaie: Do you think this amplifies the stereotype that research sites are just complainers?
Kurt Mussina: Absolutely. Such behavior doesn’t help the perception and might even overshadow genuine concerns. It’s counterproductive and can reinforce negative stereotypes.
Moe Alsumidaie: In your experience, what are the top challenges research sites face with sponsors and CROs, and what solutions would you propose?
Kurt Mussina: There are real grievances. I’ve seen how CROs, more than sponsors, sometimes mistreat sites. But the solutions aren’t new. They revolve around communication, relationships, and respect. For instance, I’ve overcome challenges by forming direct relationships with senior management at CROs or sponsors. Even creating steering committees with leaders from sponsors can be beneficial. The key is to establish a direct line of communication and bypass potential bottlenecks.
Moe Alsumidaie: What suggestions would you offer for those wanting to voice their concerns? Is LinkedIn the right platform?
Kurt Mussina: LinkedIn can be useful if approached correctly. It should be a platform for open dialogue, knowledge-sharing, and networking. However, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism, focus on constructive discussions, and offer solutions. Simply using it as a complaint platform won’t lead to productive outcomes.
Moe Alsumidaie: What advice would you give newcomers in the clinical research industry when navigating LinkedIn?
Kurt Mussina: Don’t solely rely on LinkedIn. Apply critical thinking, verify facts, and consider the sources. Also, finding a mentor in the industry can be invaluable. They can provide insights, share their experiences, and help navigate the complexities of the field.
Moe Alsumidaie: Any final thoughts?
Kurt Mussina: While I respect the efforts of those trying to organize events for sites and CROs, it’s essential to have constructive dialogue. Let’s focus on solutions rather than just complaints. And for those genuinely seeking change, forming direct relationships and fostering open communication can make a significant difference.
Moe Alsumidaie is Chief Editor of The Clinical Trial Vanguard. Moe holds decades of experience in the clinical trials industry. Moe also serves as Head of Research at CliniBiz and Chief Data Scientist at Annex Clinical Corporation.