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Optimizing the IRB

For the average person, the notion of medical research may conjure dramatic images of lab-coated scientists handing test tubes and analyzing data. What hardly ever comes up, though, is a process some researchers dread: approval by an institutional review board (IRB). Notoriously lengthy and sometimes difficult to navigate, the process is an oft-unseen yet critical piece of conducting research. And, as CNN contributor Robert Klitzman argues, the demands it places in its current form may have become more of a burden on research than anything.

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