Participating in clinical research is vital to the process of developing and discovering life-saving and world-changing advances for medicine and health care. Through clinical research, we learn new methods for the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease and disorders. Despite its benefits, deciding whether or not to enroll in a clinical research trial can oftentimes be difficult. However, there are numerous benefits to your participation. Here are a few reasons you might want to look into participating in TPMG’s clinical research studies:
1) Control over your own health care
Choosing to participate in a clinical research trial puts you in charge of your health care decisions. So often, illness and disorders take away our choices, but proactive participation in clinical research can help people regain their sense of empowerment and autonomy.
2) Informed Consent
All clinical trials must abide by a process called informed consent. Informed consent occurs before a participant is accepted into a clinical trial. Informed consent is essentially an in-depth conversation between the patient and provider about all the factors of the trial that could impact a patient’s decision-making. This includes an assessment of a patient’s decision-making ability, relevant medical information like diagnosis, recommended interventions, and the burdens, risks, and expected benefits of the trial. Additionally, informed consent requires each clinical trial participant to provide specific written consent for verification.
This process is incredibly thorough and by the end of it, you will know what the trial will treat/prevent, what good/bad can come from the trial, how your information will be protected for privacy, and what kinds of things that will be asked of you during the trial. The goal of informed consent is to make sure each clinical research participant understands all aspects of the trial so that their decision to participate is unbiased by misinformation.
3) Access to new or advanced treatment
Clinical trial participants get early access to the latest therapies that may be extremely beneficial. Even large studies that enroll 3,000 or 5,000 participants can’t offer care to everyone. There is a real opportunity for state-of-the-art care.
4) Closer health care monitoring
“Patient safety comes first. Our number one goal is patient safety. Everything else we learn is secondary to that,” said Linda G.P. Schneider, MD of TPMG Clinical Research Division in Newport News. Researchers are required by law to monitor clinical trials for their participant’s safety and that requires more thorough attention from health care providers. Clinical trial participants receive a more intense frequency of labs and checkups, which means participants will be watched more closely than if they were seen at a normal doctor’s office or pharmacy.
5) You can make a difference
Your participation in clinical research can not only improve your condition, but it can also help others with a similar condition. Clinical research trials are at the heart of medical advancement. Those who participate in clinical research trials are a part of that advancement.
“How many times in your life will you get invited to be part of a small number of people who are protecting millions?” said Dr. Schneider.
The choice to participate in clinical research is no simple question. One should always be aware of the risks involved; however, there are amazing benefits that can outweigh those risks. If you are interested in participating in one of TPMG’s clinical trials, reach out to one of our clinical coordinators to learn more.
About Dr. Linda G.P. Schneider, MD
Linda G.P. Schneider, MD is board certified in Family Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. She has been in practice on the Peninsula since 1983, and joined TPMG Hampton Family Medicine in 2009. After her retirement in 2020, Dr. Schneider has dedicated her expertise to the TPMG Clinical Research Division in Newport News, Virginia.