A Frequently Asked Question
I am Dr. Jeff Kingsley and this is another edition of Riding in Cars With Researchers! Today we are going to answer a question that patients frequently ask – “Will my other physicians be upset if I enter into a clinical research trial?” The answer is NO.
Physicians are Amazingly Supportive of Clinical Research
Patients frequently have that fear and I’ve been seeing it for nearly 20 years. Patients will ask me, “if I enter a research trial, will my physician(s) be upset with me?” They wonder if they enter into a research trial with their pulmonologist, will their primary care physician be upset that they did so. Or vice versa – if they enter into a trial with their primary care physician, will their specialist be upset with them. I’ve mentioned in previous episodes that we collaborate with almost all of your physicians. I can tell you definitively that physicians are amazingly supportive of clinical research for lots of reasons. I had a patient last week that wanted to consider a research trial that is being run by one of the gastroenterologists in that town. The patient’s specialist is a competing gastroenterologist the same town. You would think that they wouldn’t want to collaborate but, in fact, the opposite is true. I made a personal call to the patient’s gastroenterologist (GI) and told him the patient wanted to enter a research study run by this other gastroenterologist and asked if he had any objections and asked what his thoughts were. His response was, “Oh, she would be perfect in that trial!” The disease state that this woman has is really bad and really difficult to control. His response was that he would love to help; that he would love her to be able to get access to a therapy that would help her gain better control over her disease. If that means she enters into a research trial run by a competing physician, he had no issue with it whatsoever. I see this time and again.
Physicians Like to Collaborate with One Another
I had a second patient last week whose case was complicated. She was seen by a GI doctor, a nephrologist, a cardiologist, and she has disease states in all of those different areas. The GI physician was nervous about her being in a research trial because of the interactions with the other medical specialties. As I’ve said before, in research we collect an immense amount of information on every patient, across every disease state. So I made a personal phone call to the cardiologist and discussed her case with him and he thought she would do much better from a cardiology perspective if she entered this GI research trial. I called her nephrologist, who felt exactly the same way, and felt her kidneys would function better if we could gain better control of her GI issues. I called the GI doctor back, and low and behold, this patient was able to screen for this research trial.
These are just two examples that happened last week. Physicians like to collaborate with one another. They like to ensure that patients are getting the best care possible, even if it’s not from their own practice. So the answer to the question I hear frequently from patients, “Will my other physicians be upset?” is quite literally NO. In fact, they feel more informed, more included, and more collaborative on your care.
Thanks for riding along!
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