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Considering clinical trials

Ever wonder what it would be like to make medical headlines? Participants in research studies, called clinical trials, do know.

If you decide to take part in a clinical trial, you’ll be privy to expert medical care and cutting-edge therapies. On the other hand, you’ll also be vulnerable to adverse reactions and unexplored side effects. Trials can also take a lot of time, what with trips to the study site and the hours you personally invest in following the study’s rules.

All trials have their own specific guidelines about who can get into the study. For instance, in any given trial you have to be a candidate with just the right age, gender, type of disease and medical history to qualify.

If you qualify and are interested, you should thoroughly understand the goals of the study, what is being tested and what the possible outcomes might be. And, don’t forget to let your own doctor in on your plans. For one thing, study teams rarely take care of all your primary care needs; for another, your doctor can help answer your questions and work with the research team to make sure you and the trial are a good match.