Clinical research trials interest people for a wide variety of reasons. Some have a medical condition that current medication doesn’t help, so they want to try investigational drugs. Others just want to help advance medical science. Some people hope to make money from a paid clinical trial.

But the question all of these people have is this: how do I find a clinical trial, specifically one that I’m qualified to participate in?

This is a good question, considering that many clinical trials require participants with certain characteristics or certain medical problems and health histories. Some trials require healthy participants, some don’t.

The best place to start is probably your doctor. Generally, medical professionals, be they family doctors, urologists, gynecologists, dentists or whatever they may be, are aware of clinical trials going on in the area. Many doctors are participating in trials by referring patients to a research site.

In connection with this, it is always good to participate in clinical trials under the direction of your doctor, who knows your health conditions, medical history and more. He or she can advise you of the study details.

After your doctor, the next best place to search is online. You’ll find websites like ours, Physicians’ Research Options, where we connect you with dozens of studies in the area.

You can also search larger national databases, which might not have as extensive contact information as a local site like ours. Some examples:

These websites will generally allow you to search according to medical problem, participant qualifications and trial dates and locations. is a website that is meant to connect researchers and potential participants.

As you search for clinical trials, remember to keep yourself well informed. If the trial doesn’t provide adequate information, find a way to get more information before you sign up to participate. Participants should be well aware of what will be required of them, what compensation is offered, and what potential side effects there are.