Volunteer for Research

Why Volunteer for Research Studies?

Some people are worried about being "guinea pigs" and so would never consider volunteering for a research study.  While it is true that the doctors and scientists running a clinical trial don't know for sure if the treatment being studied works or not (if they knew they wouldn't have to do the trial) they often have a strong belief that the treatment will be beneficial based on prior research such as animal studies, physiology or population based human studies, etc.

Generally speaking, if there wasn't good reason to believe that a particular treatment would be helpful then there wouldn't be much sense in putting the tremendous amount of time, effort and money into a clinical trial.  More importantly, doctors would not be interested in running such a trial as the risk might be too high for their patients.

What are the Benefits of Volunteering for a Clinical Trial?

  1. Patients in Clinical Trials are followed very closely by the doctors and the study nurses.  Many times new medical conditions can be picked up earlier due to this close follow-up.

  2. The study medication(s) as well as other health-related resources are provided to study participants free of charge.

  3. A chance to contribute to important research, the results of which will benefit all patients in the end, not just those participating in the study.

If I Volunteer, do I get to choose which Study Medication I take?

Unfortunately no.  Even the doctors do not get to decide who takes which medication.  Patients are usually randomized (chosen by chance) in order to decide which medication to go on.  Often the patient and the doctor are 'blinded,' meaning they do not even know which medication(s) the patient is taking until the end of the study.  Some patients are disappointed that they cannot decide for themselves.  However, without the randomization process, the validity of a clinical trial is put into question. Then, all the hard work and sacrifices being made by both the people running the trial and the patients in the trial could be for nothing.

If I refuse to volunteer will my doctor be disappointed in me?

Absolutely not.  You have the right to refuse to be involved with any research study and should not feel pressured in any way.  If you refuse your care from your doctor and nurses will not be compromised in any way.  What's more, if you do enter into a study you have the right to drop out at any time.

Which Endocrinology Trials can I Volunteer for in Hamilton?

The following studies are currently enrolling patients in Hamilton.  Just click on the icon below to learn more about each study and how to volunteer if you are interested.