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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Clinical Trials

Why Volunteer?

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. The following information may help you make the decision that is right for you.

What is research?

  • Research is a study that is done to answer a question.
  • Scientists do research because they don’t know for sure what works best to help you.
  • Some other words that describe research are clinical trial, protocol, survey, or experiment.
  • Research is not the same as treatment.

Why is research important?

Research has led to important discoveries that make our lives better. Some examples are:

  • New drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, and other diseases
  • Ultrasound, X-ray machines, and diagnostic tests
  • Vaccines
  • Ways to stop smoking
  • Improved medical procedures

Points to Consider

  • A research study may or may not help you personally.
  • In the future, the results could help others who have a health problem.
  • Research participation is voluntary.

Decision Tips

Before you decide to become a research volunteer, get the facts: