How to spot a good medical study

When the results of a study have been posted on, the Status column of the search results list includes the note Has Results:

How to Spot a Good Medical Study

To view the study results, click on the study title to view the record. Then click on the Study Results tab of the study record to view the results. You can also click on Has Results in the list of studies to go directly to the study results.

How to Spot a Good Medical Study

The study results page includes the following information:

  • Participant Flow
  • Baseline Characteristics
  • Outcome measures and Statistical Analyses
  • Adverse Events
  • Limitations and Caveats
  • Administrative Information

If no results have been submitted and posted on, the results tab is labeled No Results Posted. If results have been submitted but not yet posted, the results tab is labeled Results Submitted. See Display of Results on for more information.

Find Studies With Results Posted on

To search for studies with results posted on, go to Advanced Search and select Studies With Results from the Study Results field dropdown list. You can also enter additional search terms in the other fields. See How to Use Advanced Search for more information.

  • See all studies with results posted on

You can also use Filters to quickly identify studies with results. After entering a search term and clicking Search, scroll down the Filters list, located on the left side of the page.

Click the + sign next to Study Results, and select With Results. Then click Apply (located at the bottom and top of the Filters list).

Click on the study title to display the study record or the words Has Results to go directly to the Study Results tab.

Note: Results are typically only available for studies that are no longer recruiting participants. If your search for studies with results comes up with no studies, make sure that the following filters are not checked under Status: Not yet recruiting, Recruiting, Enrolling by invitation, or Withdrawn.

Find Studies With Results Published in a Medical Journal

Study results are often published in medical journals. On, publication citations are displayed at the bottom of the Study Details tab of the study record, under the More Information heading.

*Note: Some publications shown on the study record may not discuss the results of the study but instead provide related background information.

Publications are identified in the study record under the More Information heading of the Study Details and Study Results View of the study record:

  • Citations submitted by sponsors or investigators are displayed first under the subhead, Publications.
  • Citations automatically identified by are displayed under the heading, Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number).

Note: If citations are available for studies that do not have results posted on, the citations will also appear on the No Results Posted tab of the study record.

To view the citation:

In many cases, you can click on the citation to obtain an abstract (short summary) or full text of the article. Some full text articles are available free of charge via PubMed or PubMed Central®. You can also ask your local librarian about getting full-text articles through interlibrary loan.

The example below shows the More Information

Medical Degrees

Given the prestige associated with the medical professions, and the extremely challenging nature of most medical careers, it’s unsurprising that getting into medical school is extremely competitive.

In order to gain a place at a top medical school, it’s necessary to demonstrate exceptional grades in science subjects (especially chemistry and biology), as well as showing evidence of commitment to the field.

This will usually mean gaining work experience, perhaps at a local healthcare center, private consultancy or another type of care facility such as an elderly care home.

If you have managed to gain the grades and the work experience necessary to secure a place on a medical course, then the chances are you’re no stranger to hard work.

Despite this, you’ll need to be prepared for even more challenges, both during your studies and in the years ahead.

This is a profession that can demand a lot both intellectually and emotionally, with an intensive and time-consuming workload.

How to Spot a Good Medical StudyWhat to expect from a medical degree

As well as allowing you to specialize in a particular division of medicine, medical degrees also provide students with the practical skills needed for specialized hands-on tasks (from taking a blood sample to complex surgical procedures), and the ‘people skills’ needed for interaction with patients and relatives.

Many top medical schools today consider practical development a key focus of their programs. This means that as well as attending seminars and lectures, you will have the opportunity to observe professional healthcare practitioners, and increasingly to start gaining practical experience yourself.

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The top medical research of 2019

Written by Maria Cohut, Ph.D. on December 21, 2019 — Fact checked by Carolyn Robertson

Another busy year for clinical research has come and gone. What are the most important findings from 2019? Here is our overview of some of the most noteworthy studies of the year.

Share on PinterestWhat happened in medical research in 2019? In this special feature, we summarize this year’s top findings.

  • “Medicine is of all the Arts the most noble,” wrote the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates — whom historians call the “father of medicine” — over 2,000 years ago.
  • Advances in therapeutic practices have been helping people cure and manage illness since before the time of Hippocrates, and, today, researchers continue to look for ways of eradicating diseases and improving our well-being and quality of life.
  • Each year, specialists in all areas of medical research conduct new studies and clinical trials that bring us a better understanding of what keeps us happy and in good health, and what factors have the opposite effect.
  • And, while each year, experts manage to overcome many obstacles, challenges old and new keep the medical research field buzzing with initiatives.

Reflecting on how research has evolved over the past decade, the editors of the reputable journal PLOS Medicine — in a recent editorial — emphasize “ongoing struggles” with infectious diseases, as well as growing tensions between two approaches in medical research. These approaches are the effort of finding treatments that are consistently effective in large populations versus the notion of “precision medicine,” which favors therapy that we closely tailor to an individual’s very personal needs.

But how has clinical research fared in 2019? In this special feature, we look at some of the most prominent areas of study from this year and give you an overview of the most noteworthy findings.

The medication we take — as long as we follow our doctors’ advice — is meant to help us fight off disease and improve our physical or mental well-being. But can these usually trusty allies sometimes turn into foes?

  1. Most drugs can sometimes cause side effects, but more and more studies are now suggesting a link between common medication and a higher risk of developing different conditions.
  2. In March this year, for instance, experts affiliated with the European Resuscitation Council — whose goal is to find the best ways to prevent and respond to cardiac arrest — found that a conventional drug doctors use to treat hypertension and angina may actually increase a person’s risk of cardiac arrest.
  3. By analyzing the data of more than 60,000 people, the researchers saw that a drug called nifedipine, which doctors often prescribe for cardiovascular problems, appeared to increase the risk of “sudden cardiac arrest.”

Project leader Dr. Hanno Tan notes that, so far, healthcare practitioners have considered nifedipine to be perfectly safe. The current findings, however, suggest that doctors may want to consider offering people an alternative.

  • Another study, appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine in June, found that anticholinergic drugs — which work by regulating muscle contraction and relaxation — may increase a person’s risk of developing dementia.
  • People may have to take anticholinergics if some of their muscles are not working correctly, usually as part of health issues, such as bladder or gastrointestinal conditions, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • The research — that specialists from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom led — looked at the data of 58,769 people with and 225,574 people without dementia.

Medical Studies: Should We Believe Them?

Even if you don’t follow the news about the latest medical studies very closely, you may have noticed that sometimes they seem to contradict themselves.

One week red wine, or bread, or chocolate is good for you. The next, it increases your risk of disease.

Or take a 2013 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that many common ingredients in a cookbook were linked to an increased and decreased risk of cancer.

It all depended on which medical study you looked at.

This can be confusing for the public, and for doctors. You may even be tempted to tune out whenever the “latest medical breakthrough” is announced.

A better approach might be to treat medical studies with a bit of healthy skepticism. And also to understand how things can go wrong as medical research moves from the lab, to the clinic, to the doctor’s office.

This can help you know which studies to trust and which to question.

Read More: How to Save Cancer Research from Red Tape »

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Many Studies Published, Few Noticed

According to the Web of Science scientific citation database, about 12.8 million medical and health studies were published between 1980 and 2012.

Most university scientists read only 250 to 270 scientific papers per year. Nonuniversity scientists read about half that number.

By some estimates, that means about half of all scientific papers are read only by the authors, reviewers, and journal editors. Ninety percent are never cited by another medical study.

Even fewer studies make it into the media. However, when they do they can sometimes generate an immense amount of hype.

While media outlets are primarily the ones overhyping medical studies, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

In a 2014 BMJ paper, researchers found that exaggerated reporting of medical studies can sometimes be traced back to the press releases put out by universities.

Forty percent of the press releases they looked at included health advice that was more direct or explicit than what was found in the actual paper. Thirty-six percent overinflated the relevance of animal or cell studies to humans.

  • The press releases put out by the medical journals themselves have also been accused of overhyping study findings.
  • “I do not enjoy this – repeatedly calling out The BMJfor its misleading news releases on observational studies, but I’m going to keep doing it until I see a change,” Gary Schwitzer, a journalism researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, wrote on his Health News Review blog in 2014.
  • Scientists also bear some responsibility.
  • A 2012 PLOS Medicine study found that overhyped medical news stories were “probably related to the presence of ‘spin’ in conclusions of the scientific article's abstract.”
  • However, that hardly absolves the media of passing on overhyped information to the public.

Top 7 Reasons to Study a Medicine Degree in 2020

There are a lot of reasons why people choose to study a Medicine degree, ranging from personal calling to calculated financial gain. Whether it’s the first choice or the backup degree option, studying Medicine abroad is a long-term commitment and a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

After doing our research, we’ve discovered these are some of the best reasons why people choose to study and work in Medicine:

1. You'll have diverse Medical career opportunities

Often overlooked, this reason is actually one of the most convincing ones. After graduation, you have a broad range of opportunities for a future job in the field of Medicine. There are over 60 specialities you can choose from, so you’re spoilt for choice.

View Masters in Medicine abroad

You can choose to work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, research labs, or be part of the medical department in other professional fields.

There are Medicine graduates who manage health care costs in economic sectors or contribute to the legal work intended to verify medical errors and defend patients' rights.

It all starts with choosing the right study path, including degree options such as:

Do not worry if you don’t see yourself as a future paediatrician, surgeon or therapist. As a Medical student, you have six years to decide what you are interested in.

Since Medicine is a broad field, you can choose a subdiscipline that focuses on research or management. We need new cures and treatments for chronic illnesses, and healthcare institutes need managers that understand the core values and principles of Medicine. You can also work in education if you’re willing to develop your pedagogic skills.

2. Find Medicine jobs anywhere in the world

All over the world, there is a great uniformity of Medical knowledge and practice. This means that by graduating from a medical school or college in Europe, you can find a job and work in any hospital in South America or anywhere else in the world. This does not apply to many other disciplines!

One thing to keep in mind is that if English isn’t widely spoken in that country, you’ll need to learn the local language. That’s essential when you communicate with patients and try to understand their symptoms and what’s causing them.

If you decide to study abroad, you’ll see that in many countries learning the official language is either part of Medicine studies or is among the admission requirements. Before choosing a Medicine programme abroad, always check if English skills are enough to graduate and practise medicine in that country.

Here are some of the most popular countries offering Masters in Medicine:

The countries mentioned above also offer undergraduate courses in Medicine, but to give you more diversity, we’ll list other popular study destinations for a Medicine Bachelor’s:

3. Alleviate people’s pain and suffering

If you’ve ever been hospitalised or visited people who were, you know that those are some of the most difficult moments in someone’s life. It’s very easy for patients to feel desperate and suffer even if the illness can be cured, or they only have to go through a minor medical intervention.

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This is where a great medic or nurse can use their empathy and people skills to make a difference. It’s very important to be honest with patients, but it’s just as important to encourage and give them hope.

Many doctors and medical staff confess that the interactions with patients and family members touch them deeply and often change the way they see their profession or even life priorities. In those moments, you remember why you’ve decided to work in Medicine in the first place, and you feel fulfilled.

There’s nothing better than seeing people joyful and healthy. Knowing that you play a big role in restoring their health and relieving their pain is perhaps the strongest and most important reason why so many people choose to study and work in Medicine.

4. Doctors are in high demand

The world needs more doctors. According to the Telegraph, “In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) projected that by 2030, low- and middle-income countries will have a deficit of 14.5 million healthcare professionals.”

Best universities for medicine

The study of medicine varies greatly around the world. In the US, medicine is studied in graduate school after completing an undergraduate degree that is not directly related to medicine.

  • Elsewhere, such as in the UK, students can enrol for undergraduate clinical degrees.
  • Wherever you study, almost all clinical degrees span a good number of years – more than non-clinical courses.
  • So it’s best to ensure that you make a wise choice when you commit yourself to a course of study for such a long period of time.

Universities by degree subject

Best universities for arts and humanitiesBest universities for business and economicsBest universities for computer scienceBest universities for engineering and technologyBest universities for life sciencesBest universities for physical sciencesBest universities for social sciencesBest universities for law degreesBest universities for education degreesBest universities for psychology degrees

Times Higher Education has published a ranking of the top 775 universities for clinical, pre-clinical and health studies, featuring colleges in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but with more weight on citations and slightly less on teaching and research metrics. The full methodology can be found here. 

Scroll down for a full list of degrees included in the clinical subject ranking of top universities, and a guide on what you can do with them. 

Best universities worldwide

Best universities in the worldBest universities in the United StatesBest universities in the UKBest universities in CanadaBest universities in AustraliaBest universities in EuropeBest universities in FranceBest universities in the NetherlandsBest universities in Germany

Top 5 universities for clinical studies and health sciences

1. University of Oxford

  1. Medicine at the University of Oxford is a traditional course, split into pre-clinical and clinical stages.

  2. In the first few years, students are taught theoretically with little patient contact, and in later years they move to the clinical phase, spending much more time at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

  3. About 150 students are admitted on to the course each year, and another 30 on to a graduate course that condenses medical studies into just four years.

  4. The university has two main libraries for medicine and clinical studies, one providing resources for the pre-clinical elements of the course and another focusing on healthcare.
  5. In addition to its distinctive course, Oxford offers students the experience of college life, where social events and small tutorials take place.

2. Harvard University

  • The graduate medical school of Harvard University has three missions: to educate, research and provide clinical care.
  • Founded in 1782, it is the third-oldest medical school in the US.
  • Faculty of the school also teach in other science departments at Harvard, and work in clinical departments at some of the hospitals affiliated to the university.
  • There are four main teaching hospitals across the Boston area.

Harvard has introduced problem-based learning to the curriculum.

There is also a specialised programme, accepting only 30 applicants each year, which focuses on biomedical research.

Medical students at Harvard belong to one of five societies named after alumni. Students work in small groups within the society, compete in sports competitions and attend social events.

What can you do with a medical degree? 

What can you do with a medical degree?What can you do with a dentistry degree?What can you do with a nursing degree?

3. University of Cambridge

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