About a year ago, I had an interesting encounter on my way back home to Texas after visiting my parents. I was casually chatting with an older female acquaintance as I got situated on the plane. She asked me what kind of medicine I practice. This woman is in medicine, not a physician, but knowledgeable about the varying specialties. I told her that I was an internist working as a hospitalist in Texas. “Oh, you’re just a hospitalist, that’s OK.”

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We had never participated in a clinical trial before

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  • Personal and Professional Development Plan (PDP) including career planning
  • Record of meetings with your educational and clinical supervisors
  • Workplace-based assessments
  • Sign-off documents
  • Reflective reports and other evidence​
A nurse and an old man in a wheelchair high five.
Doctor talking with his patient at clinic
Asian young female doctor with syringe to the arm of Asian young female patient on Bed for better healing In the room hospital background.
A professional dentist performs treatment and examination of the patient's oral cavity in close-up. Dentistry
Asian young female patient on bed showing thumbs up with smiley face very good symptom to asian young female doctor in hospital background.
Young doctor looking at computer tomography x-ray image
A professional dentist treats and examines the oral cavity of a pregnant girl in a modern dental office. Dentistry

A promising medication

The medication, called balovaptan, has already shown promising results in adults and has been given breakthrough designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When Nick decided to enroll in late 2017, the trial was enrolling kids ages 8 to 17. It has since opened to those ages 5 to 7.

“This is the first medication specifically targeting social communication skills in kids with autism,” says Kate Pawlowski, research manager for the study. “Treatments usually mediate symptoms, not the core issues of autism.”