Should you Volunteer?

The decision on whether or not to participate in a clinical trial is an important one. The goal of medical research is to contribute to health improvements and medical treatments for patients in the future. Before you consider volunteering, please review the information below.

Medical research may involve:

  • Looking for new treatments by testing them on volunteers
  • Interviewing people about their health and their illness
  • Testing specimens of blood or tissue
  • Looking at medical records
  • Understanding how the healthy body works

If you volunteer, you may:

  • Help researchers find out more about how the human body and mind work
  • Help other people who are sick
  • Help find safer or better treatments
  • Help find ways to improve medical care

Being in research is not the same as getting treatment from your personal physician.

Most medical research studies are designed to:

  • Test if a medication or treatment is safe or not
  • Test if a medication or treatment works or not

This means that the experimental treatments in a research study could be safe or harmful and that they could work or fail. Finding this out is the reason for doing research. No one can know for sure how the research study will affect you or your medical condition.
Remember, you can always say no. You should not decide to be in a research study just because your doctor told you about it. Saying no won’t hurt your relationship with your doctors or affect your health care at UNC-Chapel Hill.

If you are asked to be in a study, you will:

  • Be given a consent form with information about the research study
  • Discuss the study with a researcher
  • Have the chance to ask questions
  • Take the time to think about your choice.

You may want to:

  • Talk with a trusted advisor (relative, friend, nurse, or doctor)
  • Bring someone with you to talk about the research study
  • Take the consent form home with you before you decide

If participation in clinical trials is something you would like to consider please visit our current enrolling studies or our Patient Registry.