Bioethics Blogs

Boot Camp, PRIM&R Style!

by Michael (Mike) Kraten, PhD, CPA, IRB Chair at Providence College

PRIM&R is pleased to share a post from Mike Kraten, a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2014 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference. The PRIM&R Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who will blog here, on Ampersand, about the conference to give our readers an inside peek of what’s happening December 4-7 in Baltimore, MD. 

What should an AER Conference attendee do if (s)he arrives the day before the first day of the main conference?

Explore the city? Wander through the shops at the Inner Harbor? Read the conference schedule from cover to cover?

I had a better idea: go to boot camp! The Institutional Review Board (IRB) Chairs Boot Camp: Tools for Successful IRB Leadership, that is.

As the new IRB chair at Providence College, attending the pre-conference program, IRB Chairs Boot Camp, seemed like a sensible way to learn the fundamental responsibilities associated with my new position. But because I’ve never served in the armed forces, I wasn’t quite sure expect from a PRIM&R “boot camp.”

What would we do there? Would we engage in high impact calisthenics? And dine on military rations?

Not quite! Instead of jumping jacks and jogs around the track, we sat at large round tables and drank our “standard issue” Starbucks coffee. But that wasn’t the only pleasant surprise that I encountered during the boot camp.

The biggest surprise was the emphasis on the human element of leading (i.e., chairing) groups of individuals who must voice different perspectives on contentious issues and yet must also achieve consensus.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.