Clinical trials, clinical research, research studies, clinical research studies…pretty soon it all starts to run together and may get pretty confusing. If you’re thinking about participating in a clinical trial, that last thing you want to be is confused. You should feel comfortable and at ease, and have the ability to ask any questions that help to add to your comfort level.

So…what’s a clinical trial? Clinical trials are research studies that help scientists and researchers evaluate new potential treatments or medications to determine if they are safe and effective. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, a clinical study is a research study using volunteers that is intended to add to medical knowledge.

Why should you participate? There are a number of potential benefits associated with participating in a clinical research study. If you have a disease or illness, you are able to learn more about your condition and have access to potential new treatments before the general public. You will receive care from board-certified physicians and other medical research staff.

What else? Your participation is always at-will and you can choose to stop participating at any time.  You also don’t need insurance to participate, and all study-related care, diagnostic testing and study treatments are typically provided at no cost. Further, most studies offer compensation for study-related time and travel expenses.

When you participate in a clinical research study, you bring hope to future generations. The volunteers of the past were essential to the development of the medications and treatments we have today. Without clinical trials, we would never see any new medications.

Okay…but aren’t there risks? Again, we encourage you to ask questions and know as much as possible about the study before deciding to move forward. The possible risks and plan of research will be clearly explained in the informed consent. Don’t fret, there are ethics committees and review boards in place to make sure studies are as safe as possible and that participants are protected.

Are you ready to get involved? To see what clinical studies are enrolling near you, CLICK HERE and enter your zip code.