Participation is a clinical trial can be a satisfying and rewarding experience.

Your participation may help you or future patients benefit from new treatments. Participants in clinical trials can expect different experiences based on the type of trial they are participating in; however, there are some basic things that most clinical trials have in common.

First, there is usually a clinical trials team that you will meet. The team is made up of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and sometimes social workers. It is the team’s job to assess your health at the start of the trial and explain to you what will happen throughout the trial. They will let you know exactly what you need to do and they will continue to monitor your health along the way.

Secondly, participants can expect to complete paperwork with their medical history and basic information about themselves. A medical screening will test your blood, urine and heart health. Many times participants are added to a database based on certain criteria. Their information is kept on file in case they qualify for a future clinical trial.

Participants are also asked to sign a consent form. This form outlines in plain and simple language exactly what the participant is agreeing to. This form will explain the compensation (if there is any), as well as the risks involved. It will outline any medications or medical devices participants may be asked to use. Some clinical trials have two groups, a treatment group and a control group. The treatment group receives the new medication being tested. The control group receives the traditional medication or a placebo. Most clinical trials are “blind” meaning participants will not know which group they are in. When signing the consent form it is best to assume that you will be taking the new medication.