Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Government video lets you choose your own clinical research (mis)adventure

UntitledIt seems hardly a day goes by without a new report of research misconduct. To help prevent such behavior from occurring, the US Department of Health and Human Services has released an  interactive training video called ‘The Research Clinic’ that gives viewers the opportunity to assume the role of one of four decision-makers who are frequently involved in clinical research: a principal investigator, a clinical research coordinator, a research assistant and the chair of an institutional review board.

The interactive video puts each character in a variety of real-world scenarios that require the viewer to choose from among a series of options, each of which is accompanied by a different outcome and educational messages about the potential consequences of each choice. For example, one part follows a research assistant and her struggles to follow protocol for obtaining informed consent from participants involved in a study she’s working on, and describes the potential consequences of her different courses of actions.

But the video isn’t all seriousness, all the time. It manages to mix in a few humorous moments, and at times almost feels like a bizarre episode of The Office that was shot in a clinical setting.

So have a look, and let us know what you think—will this interactive video help to curb research misconduct?

Image via the US Department of Health and Human Services


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