I still remember my first meeting as a patient advisor in a research study. To put it lightly, I was exhilarated to finally be part of something I always had aimed at.

I could look beyond the Timbits at the centre of the table. I felt, rightly or wrongly, that my involvement would be one step up from those Patient Voices Network (PVN) assignments where I sometimes contributed fewer pearls of wisdom than I’d hoped to. “Research groups” smacked of higher forms of experience and intelligence.

They were at the pinnacle of opportunities I strived to accept. And for that reason, no doubt, my blood pressure rose as I experienced some anxious, and apprehensive moments. Maybe I was entering my first meeting of this stature, thinking that all others in the room were experts, who had already walked into their first research meeting. You, fellow, readers who have already participated in your first such meeting, probably have had, or will experience similar emotions.

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