Research FAQs

New Patients:

Where is the research department located?

The research department sees patients at our location at 1145 19th St., NW. in the research suite, near the Medical Adherence nurses. If you are coming in for an appointment, please check in at the front desk, and let them know you are here for a research appointment. We will escort you to the research suite from the waiting area.

Who do I call if I am interested in becoming a research patient?

Please see our “Currently Enrolling” page for studies with open spots, and contact the study coordinator who is listed for each study. For general research questions, please call 202.207.2510.

Do I need to be a patient at Whitman-Walker to be in a research study?

No. We can enroll any eligible patients into a study, and you do not have to already be seen at the clinic to get involved. If you are not currently a Whitman-Walker patient, we will ask you to fill out Registration form to register you in our system, as well as a Release of Information form so we can get the correct medical records to confirm your eligibility.

I am coming in for my first appointment in Research. What can I expect?

Although first appointments can vary by study, there are a few common things that happen in the initial visit. Your study coordinator, who conducts the appointment, will review the purpose of the study as well as the potential risks and benefits of your participation contained in the Informed Consent Form (ICF). If you have not done so already, you will be asked to read and review the ICF, and any questions you might have will be answered thoroughly. You and your study coordinator will then sign the ICF, and continue on with the visit. Often, first visits are “screening” visits, in which your current health and medical history are reviewed by the study coordinator and care providers to make sure you are able to participate. These visits often include a physical exam, a blood draw for routine lab work, taking your vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, pulse), and a review of your medical history. The exact details of your first visit will be discussed with you before you sign your consent form.

I am interested in research, but I am worried about my private information being shared. How will my information be protected?

In research, we only share information that is absolutely necessary for your care during the study. It is very important to us that we protect your private health information during the research process. We uphold strict rules regarding patient privacy. Generally, your protected health information (PHI) will not be shared with the study sponsor, and will only be shared with people directly involved in your care. We are bound by HIPAA rules, and your study coordinator will review the details of who can see your health information when you sign the informed consent form.

I am interested in a trial with medication, but I am worried about side effects. How can I learn more about these medicines and their risks?

All the medications we study at Whitman-Walker are developed by study “sponsors,” or companies that run these studies. The sponsors have spent a long time evaluating these medications, and these studies are a way to understand more about how the medications work and who they work for. Before you agree to be in a study, your study coordinator will discuss the medication with you, including what it is, how it works, when to take it, and what might happen. All this information is located in the informed consent form. We encourage patients to discuss medication side effects with their personal doctors, as well as with any loved ones.  We want you to be 100% aware of and comfortable with your decision to participate before you start the study. Also, during the study, you will be asked about your health and any potential side effects of the medications, and your lab work will be closely monitored.

If I sign up for a study, how long will it last?

Each study runs on a different timeline, depending on the purpose of the study. At Whitman-Walker, we have some studies that are a short as a few weeks, and others that last for years! We will always make sure you understand the time commitment before you sign the agreement to be in the study. Also, if you decide at any time that you no longer want to be involved, you are able to stop. We care first and foremost about your health and well-being, and we want to make sure your participation is completely voluntary.

Current patients: 

I can’t make my appointment today and/or I don’t remember when my next appointment is supposed to happen. Who do I call?

Please call your study coordinator (the person you saw for your first visit) to reschedule. Your coordinator will always call you the day before your visit to remind you of your appointment, and their information will be located on the first page of the informed consent form. If you cannot remember the name of the person you saw, please call the main Whitman-Walker number: 202-745-7000, and ask to be transferred to someone in research.

I forgot to take my study medication yesterday. What do I do?

Do not take an extra dose!  Don’t worry, just write down the day you missed your medication, and please call your study coordinator for more instructions.

I took more study medication than I was supposed to yesterday. What do I do?

Do not skip today’s dose, and please call your study coordinator as soon as possible for more instructions.

I can’t find my study medication. What do I do?

If you think you’ve lost your medication, please call your study coordinator as soon as possible to alert him or her of the situation. We can provide another set of medication, but we need to do so through the correct channels for the study. If it is a weekday during business hours, please call your coordinator’s office phone. If after business hours or on the weekend, please call the emergency number: 202-487-7141.

I don’t remember when I am supposed to take my study medication. What do I do?

Please call your study coordinator or the medical providers in the Research Department with any questions about dosing of your study medication. You can also find dosing instructions in the informed consent form.

I have a study-related emergency. Who can I call?

If it is during office hours, please call your coordinator (number located on the informed consent form). If after hours, please call the emergency number: 202-487-7141.

I am in the hospital. Do I need to tell my study coordinator?

Yes. We always want to know about major changes in your health, such as visits to the hospital. Please call your study coordinator to discuss your visit. If your hospital doctor has questions about the study, please have him or her call the study coordinator for clarification. Please also note, if possible, if you missed any doses of study medication while you were in the hospital.

Can I have a copy of my study records sent to my doctor?

Yes. With your permission, we can share your information with your provider. We will ask you to complete and sign a Release of Information (ROI) form, and ask for the name and phone number of your doctor’s office. If you like, we can also provide you copies of your lab work to take to your physician. Any information kept in your Research chart is able to be shared, so please feel free to ask.

Can I take a new medication while I am taking study medication?

If you are currently taking a study medication, please call your coordinator BEFORE you start any new medicines. Sometimes, medicines can interact with each other, and it is important for us to make sure the medication you want to take is safe in combination with your study medicine.