Clinical Research Poem by Dr. Seuss

Clinical Research Poem by Dr. Seuss


Traditionally during the holiday season, vendors recap their banner year, tout their accomplishments, and discuss the amazing things they will achieve in the coming year. If anyone is interested in hearing about our achievements and the fantastic things we’re working on, please contact me, and I’d be glad to talk your ear off!

At, we believe not in celebrating our success but in shining a light on the achievements and challenges of our customers and our industry. I have three little kids, and I recently re-read Dr. Seuss’s book Oh the Places You’ll Go and found many parallels to the clinical research industry. Therefore, I hope you and Random House Books don’t mind if I take the liberty to amend the original Dr. Seuss text to highlight the success and challenges we all face.


Oh the Places You’ll Go, a Clinical Research Poem by Dr. Seuss

This is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have research in your head.
You have patients at your sites.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the site who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down protocols. Look ’em over with care.
About some, you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any protocols
you’ll want to pursue.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to sites as tenacious
and footsy as you.

And then research starts to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be doing great research!
You’ll join the high fliers
who cure worlds’ ills.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have our support.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, studies get put on hold.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
and poorly planned technology
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your staff will fly on to a CRO, and your PI will retire.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself,
research always does.

You will come to a place where the SOPs are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could get a 483!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How many contracts can you lose? How many can you win?

And IF you continue to champion your patients’ rights, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a monitor to make up his mind.

You can get so confused by nonsensical requests
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for hours cross weirdish wild Sponsor requests,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for sites just waiting.
Waiting for a Sponsor to reply
or a fax to come, or an email to go
or the mail to come, or the currier pigeon to go
or the phone to ring, or the smoke signal to show
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the IRB to approve
or waiting for the protocol amendment to come in
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or payment, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the right studies
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping, patients coming through your door
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a site!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is research to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do for your patients
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the contract terms be foul.
On you will go
though your protocols are challenging.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your staff may get sore
and your budgets may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange research terms as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to update your SOPs, and be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Everyone at wishes you and your loved ones Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year.