Talking with Your Doctor

Do not hesitate to ask the following or any additional questions of the research team and/or healthcare professional associated with the clinical trial. You may want to bring a family member or caregiver with you to help make sure all of your questions are answered.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor (or Research Team)

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who is going to be in the study? Inclusion and exclusion selection criteria?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What will happen at the end of the study?
  • What kinds of test and exams will I be taking in the study? How much time do these take? What is involved in each test?
  • Does the study compare standard and experimental treatments or will there be a “placebo”?
  • How often does the study require me to go to the doctor or clinic?
  • Will I be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?
  • How will you keep my doctor informed about my participation in the trial?
  • What are the costs to me? Will my health insurance pay for it?
  • Will I be reimbursed for other expenses (e.g. parking fees, gas)?
  • What type of follow-up care is part of this study?
  • What are my other treatment choices (i.e. is there a current standard of care for my condition)? How do they compare with the treatment being studied?
  • What side effects can I expect from the treatment being tested? How do they compare with side effects of the standard treatment?
  • How might this trial affect my daily life?
  • How will I know that the treatment is working? Will results of the trials be provided to me?
  • If I withdraw, will this affect my normal care?

Resources

Sources of Information

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP); Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development [Updated Outlook 2010 and original referenced paper (DiMasi, Joseph A., Ronald W. Hansen and Henry G. Grabowski (2003) “The Price of Innovation: New Estimates of Drug Development Costs,” Journal of Health Economics 22(2):151-85, March)]; and a paper comparing the costs of different studies (Morgan, Steve, et al. “The cost of drug development: A systematic review” Health Policy 100 (2011) 4–17).

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.
Keep me informed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.