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Creating Positive Change Through Clinical Research

By: Scott Dobson, MD

Clinical Research…the term itself sounds a bit intimidating. Throw the word Pediatric in front of it and mix in today’s COVID-19 fears, and suddenly the phrase takes on a life of its own.

Despite the often negative connotations that surround clinical research, we firmly believe that safely conducted clinical research and clinical trials propel medicine forward and contribute to so many lives saved around the world.

In our minds, volunteers who participate in these clinical trials are the true medical superheroes, paving the way for the general public to benefit from new and improved medicines, vaccines, and treatments.

High quality practices are valued by companies seeking to develop new and improved treatments for childhood diseases to help them in creating positive change in the medical field. Parkside truly sees it as an honor to have been participating in clinical trials since 2016.

But what does that actually mean? As always, we want to help you feel at ease and educated about any methods or procedures we conduct within our offices. Keep reading to see a bigger picture of Parkside’s involvement in clinical research and what that means for your child…

How does Parkside participate in Clinical Research?

We have an entire team dedicated to research that carefully analyzes and chooses what we determine to be safe clinical trials to offer to our patients. This may include a trial for a new medicine, vaccine, or even a new medical device or lab test – all to help improve the future of medicine for children. All medicines that our patients take, and all vaccines that our patients receive, have been through the clinical trial process before they came to market. Clinical trials are often conducted in four phases. What do these “phases” mean per the FDA?:

  • Phase I trials
    Researchers test an experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people for the first time. The researchers evaluate the treatment’s safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
  • Phase II trials
    The experimental drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
  • Phase III trials
    The experimental study drug or treatment is given to large groups of people. Researchers confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the experimental drug or treatment to be used safely.
  • Phase IV trials
    Post-marketing studies, which are conducted after a treatment is approved for use by the FDA, provide additional information including the treatment or drug’s risks, benefits, and best use.

Because safety is our top priority, Parkside has been participating in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, making sure that new medicines or vaccines have already had some degree of testing for safety before we participate.

What does this mean for your child if you are a Parkside Family?

Honestly, the answer to this question is totally up to you! No one should ever feel pressured to participate in any clinical trials we as a practice are involved in.

Our goal is to have an in person conversation with parents about potential clinical trials their child could participate in. Parents are then given the opportunity to move forward or to decline, based on an informed consent process that explains the trial. Again, families are never pressured to participate in any trial at any time.

If a family does choose to enroll in one of our clinical trials, the parents are always provided compensation for time and travel to our offices that involve the said trial. Patients who participate in the trials are also always closely monitored by our team throughout the duration of the trial.

Still have questions about clinical trials?

Many of the trials Parkside participates in are listed on a global virtual database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies that is sponsored by the United States Library of Medicine. You can also visit the clinical research portion of our website, call our research team directly (864) 372-3970, or email

It is our mission to provide the highest quality care to our patients, and also to be a participant in the improvement of medical care for all children. If you’re interested, we would love to have you join us in this journey!

Until next time,

Dr. Scott Dobson

Parkside Provider, an average golfer, and a curly hair product collector

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