Clinical research and the physician-patient relationship

Ann Intern Med. 2003 Apr 15;138(8):669-72. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-8-200304150-00015.


All practicing physicians should be prepared to respond to requests from patients for advice about participating in clinical trials research. Even physicians who choose not to conduct clinical trials but rather devote their practice to clinical care may have patients who consider volunteering for research. In advising patients about clinical research, physicians enhance the physician-patient relationship and contribute to the overall goals of evidence-based medicine. We discuss several ethical and practical challenges facing physicians who wish to help their patients make decisions about volunteering for clinical trials. In addition, we suggest how preparation for advising patients about clinical research participation can be incorporated into the medical education process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Decision Making
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patients / psychology
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation*