How Do You Decide on a Clinical Trial?
Going to the doctor can be stressful for some people. Some are very afraid of the doctor, some can’t really afford it but need the work done, and others just don’t love their doctor. Maybe they don’t trust him or don’t think he is competent at his job. But there are also those who love their doctor and think he’s the best. Although a good recommendation from a friend is probably the best way to find a good clinic, they are not always right. Everyone is different, your friends may have very different opinions and preferences than you do and it’s hard to know what you think about a clinical trial before you let them go poking around!
So, you have a doctor and his or her personality and expertise, but there are more factors involved in your decision to continue being a patient at that practice, or finding somewhere new.
In my opinion, location is another one of the major factors that helps me decide on a paid clinical trial in my area. If you live in the DFW area, you know what kind of terrible traffic can happen. When I decide on a doctor, I want to choose someone who is local, preferably within 10-20 minutes of my house regardless of traffic. Doctor appointments are often inconvenient as it is. Having to take off work because of their office hours can be a hassle, and if you have to budget an extra hour or two because of where they are located, it’s even more inconvenient. Finding a clinic near your home or work is really nice and will probably make you more likely to schedule regular appointments and get the doctor care you need.
Another thing I look for in a good medical study is their office. Is it clean? Are the staff friendly? Is it comfortable? How is the wait time? I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to let someone else put their fingers and tools in my mouth, I want to make sure that it in a clean environment. I also want to be able to talk to a pleasant and friendly secretary about scheduling my next appointment or about any questions I have with my bill. Short wait times are also something I look for. I hope that, for the most part, if I have an appointment scheduled for a certain time, I can get in and get out rather quickly. But, if I ever do have to wait for a while, I’d like the waiting room to be comfortable and clean.
What are some things you look for in a good medical trial?
As a new parent you are suddenly faced with tons of medical decisions that need to be made not for you, but for someone else. It can be tricky, emotional, and sometimes scary to research and make decisions even when they are based on legitimate human medical studies. Sometimes though, there are not even many clinical studies available to do your research.
Many of the procedures and common practices done today on infants have been studied on animals or in labs, but not in a controlled, double-blind trial with humans (including, but not limited to: vaccines and routine injections, Vitamin K shots, newborn eye ointment application, which all happen within hours of birth). This is because it might be considered unethical to subject humans, especially infants, to chemicals and drugs that are not known and proven to be safe. Also, it could be ethically irresponsible to take infants away from their parents and a normal upbringing for the amount of time they would need to do a thorough study. However, clinical studies are very important and we know several locations (www.clinicaltrialsdallasfortworth.com) here in Dallas Fort Worth where they conduct these and many other research studies.
Another factor that can be hard for parents when they are trying to research and make decisions concerning the health of their child is that in many cases where there have been clinical studies and trials, the results have been overturned or put into question since the time of the trial. This means what once may have been considered a safe practice, is now not recommended because of further research that has been done on the subject.
One of the major topics in medicine that has been in the news a lot lately is vaccines. It is a very controversial topic that is becoming more popular because of recent “outbreaks” of certain diseases that were considered to be eradicated in the United States. It is hard to find unbiased information on the topic because even governmental agencies like the CDC and FDA who recommend vaccines for most children are not a completely unbiased source of information. While the aim of these governmental agencies is public health, many people have a hard time trusting their recommendations because the pharmaceutical companies who make (and sell) the drugs have a lot of influence over government because of all the money involved. For parents it is extremely difficult to find information about vaccines that is backed up by clinical trials and studies and not sponsored by major pharmaceutical companies.
Thankfully, most doctors still care about patients and parents enough to let them make their own health decisions and to give them what resources they know about to make an educated and informed decision.