Michelle Bennett

Huntersville, NC

The Value of Patient-Provider Partnership in Clinical Research


Meet Gloria “Michelle” Bennett! A mother of three grown daughters and two granddaughters, Michelle currently calls Huntersville, NC, home. A treasury solutions project analyst by day, Michelle says she is “strongly considering” retirement come her 64th birthday early next year.

In this Q&A, Michelle shares more about her experience participating in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial including the sense of responsibility she felt as an African American woman, and the positive impact of having her primary care physician actively support her decision to enroll.


Was this your first time participating in a clinical trial?

Michelle Bennett: Yes, this was my first experience participating in a clinical trial. It was a blinded COVID vaccine study, with placebo. While I did receive the placebo initially, upon completion of the study I was able to get the live vaccine as well.

What was your primary motivation for participating?

Michelle Bennett: Contributing to medical advancement during a time of such fear and suffering was my primary motivation, but being able to receive the vaccine early as a result was certainly an added benefit.

How did you hear about this clinical trial, and did you have any reservations about participating?

Michelle Bennett: I found out through a promotional poster at my primary care physician’s office at Tryon Medical Partners, in Charlotte, NC. I thought “why not?” I’ve been with my PCP for nearly thirty years and trust her completely. I posed the idea at my next visit; “I think that is a great idea,” she said. Her support meant everything. I had no hesitations moving forward.

Can you share a little bit about your experience with enrollment and the informed consent process?

Michelle Bennett: The entire process, while lengthy, was ultimately quite straightforward. There were many questions, but I was able to answer them digitally. The risks and benefits were clearly outlined and all of my questions were answered by the clinical staff. I had no fear of participating. There was a lot of information, but I felt good about my decision after completing the enrollment process.

Did you feel the trial expectations were manageable?

Michelle Bennett: Overall, yes, the entire experience was very manageable. Having to travel to another practice location was a bit burdensome, but I was able to accommodate the added travel by scheduling my visits accordingly. Had I been working at the time, that may not have been plausible, however the financial compensation provided may have alleviated that added burden.

We did experience a few technical issues during my very first appointment, which made the visit a bit bumpy – it wasn’t ideal, but the staff communicated clearly with me, and thankfully that did not happen again. The remainder of my time in the trial ran smoothly.

Would you recommend participating in a clinical trial to others?

Michelle Bennett: I sure would! I haven’t participated in another trial since, but I am certainly open to it. My PCP and I regularly talk through opportunities together. As an African American woman, many of those closest to me are hesitant about research. I use my experience to encourage them and highlight the importance of our contributions.

I had a very pleasant experience overall and now understand the value to self and to society of participating in clinical research. I hope to lead by example for others to consider participating in the future.


To learn more about clinical trial opportunities near you, please visit: https://javararesearch.com/patients/clinical-trials/