SWOG primarily designs and conducts cancer clinical trials. But we do quite a bit more. Education and training are also huge components of our yearly activities, and we take them very seriously. We need some help with the latter. An email from SWOG is heading for every member’s inbox, if it isn’t already there. Inside the email is a link to an online survey that will help SWOG chart a new direction for our training program. Please fill it out!

SWOG offers a slew of videos, slide presentations, and in-person workshops on general clinical trial topics, from research ethics to specimen submission to financial and safety reporting. SWOG also offers trial-specific training for complex studies or registration trials aimed at gaining FDA approval for a new cancer treatment. We offer training to a variety of potential participants, from patient advocates to clinical research associates to principal investigators to the most seasoned executive officers and the greenest young investigators. We also offer training sessions to our staff.

The survey is your chance to weigh in. We’re asking what training you have taken advantage of, what sessions you’d like to see, and how we can make our training more useful. These are big and important questions. Clinical research is changing rapidly, as basic science evolves seemingly at the speed of light. Even our trial designs can change quickly, and patients are increasingly becoming active participants in their care. At the same time, an explosion of digital tools – from webinars and videos to Tweet chats and Skype sessions – is changing how training is delivered. We can all use some help in keeping up!

So please respond to our survey. Results will inform a SWOG staff summit on training this spring. That team will bring early recommendations to our San Francisco meeting, with a final plan rolling out this fall. So your survey answers will quickly and directly affect our long-term training strategy – and our offerings for years to come. Training is a major benefit of SWOG membership, and we want to be sure we’re giving you the very best.

If you’ve misplaced that email, contact Dana Sparks, our director of operations and protocols, at qfcnexf/ng/fjbt/qbg/bet to get directed to the survey. When we approve a strategy, I’ll certainly share it with you here.

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