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Physician researcher holding clipboard with formulas floating in the air representing clinical trialsClinical trials are the backbone of medical progress, vital for developing new treatments and moving healthcare forward. But there’s a big challenge: not enough patients are getting the chance to take part. Surprisingly, studies show that only a small number of patients are being asked by their doctors about joining trials. This lack of engagement seriously slows down how quickly trials can recruit people and means that important groups of patients might not be represented.

The good news is that there’s a huge opportunity here. Just think about the difference it could make if more doctors talked to their patients about joining clinical trials. These conversations wouldn’t just help get more people involved; they’d also give patients the chance to play a real part in shaping the future of medicine. While trials by nature involve certain risks, they may also provide much needed hope and opportunity for patients to find a treatment that works better for them.

Starting these conversations isn’t just about hitting recruitment targets; it’s about giving patients the information and power to make decisions. By sharing information about appropriate clinical trials, physicians have a hand in supporting medical research. By bridging the gap in communication about trial opportunities, they become key players in supporting medical progress.

However, there are real obstacles in the way of these important discussions. Encouraging clinicians to kick-start these conversations is crucial and reduces the burden on patients and caregivers to go in search of other options. In turn, we must also consider ways to reduce the burden on clinicians. Study sponsors need to do their part and provide patient-friendly trial information that is also offered in linguistically and culturally appropriate versions. Sponsors should be asking themselves, what can we provide to simplify the process of educating patients and supporting them as they go through the process of making a decision. And if you don’t know, well, Ask Me!

By getting on board with more proactive conversations about clinical trials, clinicians set the stage for a more inclusive and revolutionary future in healthcare. They become champions for progress, not just helping individual patients but also contributing to our collective understanding of medicine. Clinicians need to be advocates for their patients’ potential involvement in clinical trials, recognizing the huge role they play in pushing healthcare forward. Only by getting more proactive can we make sure that clinical trials are as effective as possible in tackling the biggest health challenges we face.

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