List of 100+ Medical research topics for students

A medical research paper presents the student with an opportunity to accumulate knowledge on general information concerning most common diseases, their general symptoms and diagnosis. Furthermore, a research project also gives a chance to be involved in a process of creating new knowledge that can help a lot of people around the world.

Medical research is an area of interest for many people, and naturally it follows that medical students will be interested in the topic as well. Medical research papers help to demonstrate a student’s understanding of concepts taught in class as well as practical knowledge gained from clinical rotations.

Often times, these two aspects are combined into one paper where the author discusses the practical implications or uses for a specific concept that has been studied. This may help those looking for good topics for this type of paper to become better acquainted with what might be expected on a final exam or comprehensive examination.

What Makes A Good Medical Research Topic?

There are several factors required to make a great medical research topic – any one of them alone would not be enough, but together they offer an excellent research paper topic:

  • The student is familiar with the concept.
  • Medical research paper topics should be something that is at least known to you by name, if not studied in detail. The student has a solid understanding of the idea and can explain it clearly to others as well. Ideally, this means having spent time learning about the concept during classroom lectures or clinical rotations. The student knows where/how to find relevant information on the subject.
  • Many medical research ideas will require more than just reading through a textbook – sources such as electronic databases and even experimental data must also be consulted for relevant studies and results.
  • The student knows how/can correctly apply the exact findings of studies to their own unique situation – this requires applying what is learned to specific people or patients.

There are medical research paper topics for all levels of study, from the first year student writing about atomic composition studying sources such as databases and textbooks, to more advanced students exploring genetic predisposition to disease by focusing on journal articles that report experimental data.

To write a good project it is necessary to have the right topic for further investigation. Luckily, you do not have to look far as there are many medical research ideas available online. In this article we provide you with 100+ topics from which you can choose one for your future report or presentation.

Introductory Level Topics

It may be good for beginning-level students’ to begin with slightly less complex medical research paper ideas. Here are some examples:

  1. Anatomic considerations when constructing stents/vessels – how does anatomical position impact their function? What types of vessels have specific designations?
  2. Blood flow theory – this would include blood pressure, cardiac output, peripheral resistance, etc. do they specifically relate to one another?
  3. Molecular biophysics – how does the interaction of molecules produce certain observable qualities/states? This might include viscosity, plasma vs. cellular membranes, etc. Medical research topics need to be limited to one idea per paper.

More advanced students topics:

  1. The impact of genetic factors on heart disease
  2. Hemoglobin function in various settings – this would require using multiple articles specifically discussing hemoglobin composition, function, behavior under different conditions (ex. hypoxia) and levels of activity (ex. sickle cell trait).
  3. How much water should a person drink every day? What are the benefits/risks of drinking too much or too little? Can drinking coffee help prevent dehydration? How much water should a marathon runner drink between stations?
  4. The topic of drinking enough water every day is one that is commonly discussed as a “truth” – but it doesn’t seem to be something that has been studied in much detail. This means the student would need to do their own research on this subject, discussing multiple relevant sources and coming up with an opinion/point-of-view supported by relevant data.

Other Health Topics worth Exploring

  1. Flossing vs. brushing for preventing dental disease
  2. How does smoking affect the brain, especially with respect to impulsivity? What mechanisms are involved? How does this impact mental illness?
  3. Heart rate variability – how can heart rate variability be modified via cardio exercise or medication? Does it make sense to monitor heart rate variability in patients who are at risk for cardiac events?
  4. The correlation between word memory and cortical thickness in right versus left hemispheres in older adults.
  5. The effect of memantine on reducing risk for mild cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease dementia.
  6. What is the accurate role of routine brain MRI when assessing for traumatic brain injury?
  7. How well do the prognostic models to predict Parkinsonism after cardiac surgery apply in elderly patients?
  8. A study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of donepezil versus dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson Disease psychosis (PDP).
  9. Does high-intensity treadmill exercise vs resistance training result in different outcomes in LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, or glucose tolerance?
  10. What are the effects of cannabinoids on the brain?
  11. The effect of surgical treatment (laminectomy with or without fusion) on degenerative spondylolisthesis.
  12. Does epidural steroid injection in patients with lumbar disc herniation reduce the rate of recurrence after open discectomy?
  13. To determine the efficacy and safety of exercise for patients with major depression disorder.
  14. A randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of memantine in preventing post-traumatic stress in response to acute traumatic stress in US military personnel.
  15. An observational study that explores why there is a significant difference between in vitro fertilization live birth rates when fresh versus frozen embryos are transferred.
  16. What is the most appropriate method to diagnose pulmonary embolism using D-dimer in the Emergency Department?
  17. Association between antibody response to vaccine at 8 months and 18 month visit in HIV-exposed uninfected children.
  18. Clinical trial on the effect of chemotherapeutic agents on myeloma red blood cell transfusion support needs.
  19. An investigation into whether or not antibiotics change the efficacy of chemotherapy in treating colorectal cancer.
  20. The purpose is to assess the relationship between age and insulin resistance, focusing on how changes in adiponectin (a protein secreted by fat cells) levels over time affect insulin resistance during adulthood and glucose tolerance during aging.
  21. Does holding an ice pack while bombing affect pain and discomfort associated with pediatric immunizations?
  22. A examining why Hispanic adults experience greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic adults.
  23. An integrative review on the effect of mindfulness meditation (MM) programs for improving health outcomes in cancer patients.
  24. What is the relationship between ocular biomechanics and myopia?
  25. The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) vs interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for treating bipolar II depression.
  26. A randomized clinical trial to determine if treatment with dexamethasone + extremely low dose thalidomide has similar outcomes compared to high-dose thalidomide in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients.
  27. Age at first period as a biomarker for breast cancer risk after exposure to ionizing radiation.
  28. Investigating the effectiveness of soy protein supplementation on metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.
  29. The association between level of paternal involvement and maternal postpartum depressive symptoms.
  30. A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of testosterone gel (Androgel) for improving sexual function, mood, muscle strength and bone mass in men with hypogonadism. A study that determines whether there is a relationship between L-arginine supplementation and endothelial dysfunction in Systolic Hypertension (SH).
  31. What is the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis compared with opioids for chronic pain?
  32. The effect of early versus delayed initiation on interferon treatment for hepatitis C virus infection among HIV/HCV co-ed people on antiretroviral therapy.
  33. Study of the effect of creatine supplementation on glaucoma-like structural changes in the eye that have been induced by diabetes.
  34. Hypothesis driven study to determine the efficacy of four different forms of exercise on pain reduction in patients with chronic low back pain, acute exacerbation of subacute low back pain, and healthy individuals. The most appropriate method for diagnosing appendicitis using serum C reactive protein.
  35. Study to assess whether there is a relationship between preoperative patient weight loss/gains and postoperative outcomes after general surgery procedures among obese adult patients (body mass index ≥30).
  36. Prevention and control of invasive meningococcal disease: second-line antibiotic susceptibility and effectiveness as meningitis prophylaxis in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
  37. A randomized controlled trial to determine whether acetaminophen is superior to ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis pain.
  38. The effect of low-dose metformin plus lifestyle intervention on gestational diabetes mellitus in obese pregnant women.
  39. Assessment of the effectiveness of home renal transplant monitoring using wearable sensors compared with conventional in-clinic blood pressure cuffs in detecting acute rejection episodes.
  40. A study to investigate the effectiveness of Transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) in improving clinical symptoms and neuropsychological performance among binge eating disorder participants.
  41. The association between community-acquired pneumonia and risk factors in developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
  42. Does a home-based exercise program reduce cardiovascular disease risk when compared with cardiac rehabilitation in patients with coronary artery disease?
  43. A comparison of two different approaches for evaluating depressive symptoms before bariatric surgery: an interview versus a self-report measure.
  44. Is methylphenidate more effective than metformin or placebo for treatment of amphetamine dependence?
  45. Prevalence of cocaine use disorders, bipolar I disorder, and their comorbidity in patients with cardiovascular disease.
  46. Blood biomarkers and sleep abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  47. How well does the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) detect cognitive impairment among psychiatric populations?
  48. A comparison of two doses of nabilone for the treatment of neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS: a double-blind, randomized, crossover trial.
  49. A systematic review of targeted therapies n adults living with myelofibrosis post allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
  50. A study to examine the predictors of hematoma expansion in intracerebral hemorrhage.
  51. The effect of fish oil on mental health outcomes in early psychosis: a double-blind randomized control trial.
  52. Improved anatomy knowledge difference between nurse practitioner and medical students in musculoskeletal clinical reasoning.
  53. Evaluation of HIV risk among patients with bipolar disorder in real-world clinical practice settings.
  54. The use of anabolic steroids for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD).
  55. Cognitive function, psychological well-being, and sleep quality following exercise interventions among people with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
  56. A study on the effect of green tea supplementation on respiratory muscle strength and handgrip endurance in young adults.
  57. Evaluation of calcium citrate as compared to calcium carbonate for the treatment of elevated serum phosphorus levels.
  58. Does a multi-ingredient supplement (MIS) containing whey protein, creatine, HMB, beta alanine, arginine and BCAAs improve lean mass in combination with resistance training when given to overweight/obese subjects?
  59. An evaluation of the effects of exercise training using stationary cycling or treadmill walking/running on measures of cardiovascular function among individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD).
  60. Exercise induced asthma – what is happening physiologically when someone with exercise-induced asthma experiences breathing problems during/after exercising? How does this affect their overall performance (ex. performance at work)? What medications exist to help treat exercise-induced asthma?
  61. Anesthetic toxicity – the potential neurotoxicity of anesthetics during surgery, including brain damage and long-term cognitive changes. This would require bringing together information from both clinical trials and individual patient cases.
  62. How does birth order correlate with development in children? Does it change across time (ex. small family vs big family)? What are some factors that can impact how birth order effects a child’s development?
  63. Anemia in pregnancy – why does anemia occur during pregnancy? What are the signs and symptoms of anemia in a pregnant woman? How can it be treated?
  64. Heart attacks – what causes heart attacks to occur, how quickly should someone seek medical attention if they think they’re having a heart attack, what are some warning sign that should cue one to get emergency help immediately?
  65. Brain tumors – what factors impact where a brain tumor is formed, does gender/race have anything to do with the location of tumors within the brain, what kind of tumors exist? How do these impact behavior and cognitive function over time?
  66. Common errors when giving blood transfusions – who is most likely to experience a reaction to a blood transfusion, which symptoms should people look for if they think they’re experiencing a reaction, what are the signs of an allergic reaction to blood?
  67. Chronic fatigue syndrome – what is it exactly that makes someone feel chronically fatigued (ex. sleep problems, poor diet, other medical issues), how can chronic fatigue be diagnosed? How does it impact quality of life?
  68. Drugs and the brain – what brain regions/chemicals are affected by common drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines, how do these substances impact behavior over time (withdrawal symptoms)? What other drugs function in this same manner (this would require spending some time exploring which other medications work through similar mechanisms)?
  69. Non-invasive surgery – is there a way for surgeons to treat patients without physically cutting them open? What are some technologies that might work towards this goal?
  70. The future of surgery – what currently exists as non-invasive surgeries, and how can they be improved upon? What are some newer technologies being researched in-depth for possible surgical applications?
  71. Vocational rehabilitation effectiveness – are there any factors that might impact whether or not an individual re-enters the workforce after a period of time away from employment due to illness/disability/etc.? How long does it take before an individual can expect to enter back into the workforce?
  72. What is the evolutionary advantage of white blood cells over other types of immune cells? Do certain regions of the world have more or less white blood cells than others (ex. geographical differences)?
  73. How does social media use affect the brain? Which parts of the brain are activated when people look at “likes” for their Instagram photos or other similar activities? What part of the brain is turned off during this process (ex. while performing other tasks)?
  74. What are some possible mechanisms behind reflux disease? Are there certain patient subsets that might be different in terms of underlying mechanism versus diagnosis type, treatment response versus others? How should reflux disease be diagnosed? What types of treatments exist/which treatments are most effective for which subsets of patients, what supplements can help to reduce symptoms, what lifestyle changes should be made to decrease acidity in the stomach and improve symptoms…
  75. Can schizophrenia ever be cured, or is it a life-long disorder? What are some of the most promising treatment options available, what medications/therapies can be tried that might impact symptoms over time (ex. talk therapies like CBT, supplements that help with various symptoms)? How does early intervention impact long term outcomes?
  76. How do different perceptions about race influence doctors’ interactions with patients on issues like pain management and diagnosis of diseases? Are some races more likely to be diagnosed with certain diseases than others depending on their personal background or cultural influences? Do certain races respond differently than others when given the same drug for the same disease process (ex. diabetes, hypertension)?
  77. Why do some people get skin rashes/hives while taking certain drugs while others don’t – how much does genetics play into this (which genes, how do they impact the way drugs are processed/broken down by organs like the liver)? How do environmental factors contribute to this (ex. stress levels, level of hydration, skin barrier strength)?
  78. How does a patient’s personal history and socioeconomic status affect their likelihood of getting a certain disease? Do these risk factors change depending on the type of disease being looked at – for example, do risk factors differ when looking at mental health issues versus heart attacks?
  79. What role does gut flora play in digestion and overall human health? In autoimmune diseases vs non-autoimmune diseases? Does having a healthy gut microbiome influence mood or other types of behaviors that might manifest outside of physical conditions? What is the best diet for optimal gut health?
  80. How do different types of social support influence patients’ symptoms, level of functioning, degree to which they are able to recover from an illness or surgery? What are some possible side-effects to providing services/programs that don’t offer sufficient support in terms of being open when necessary about the realities of a disease or chronic condition? How can this be improved upon?
  81. What is the role of cortisol in causing symptoms associated with stress – heart palpitations, rapid breathing, etc.? What are some non-pharmacological ways people can manage their symptoms (ex. deep breathing exercises), what medications are typically used in treatment (ex. beta blockers)?
  82. What are some newer technologies that might help to provide better care for HIV/AIDS patients? What can we learn from more developed healthcare systems in other countries (ex. Great Britain, the Netherlands)?
  83. What is the role of exercise and activity levels on overall brain health and function? How does aging play a role – what changes occur during different stages of life and how does this affect cognitive decline and development of dementia? Is it possible to reverse some age-related declines by engaging in certain activities when older individuals are encouraged to remain physically active, socially connected…
  84. How do people’s perceptions about their own weight influence symptoms they might experience or their personal choices related to diet & exercise? Are thin or fit individuals less likely to develop certain diseases due to lifestyle factors like smoking, dietary choices, level of physical activity? What role do the media and marketing play in communicating messages about weight loss, dieting to people who are struggling with their own body image?
  85. What types of experiences/associations (either real or imagined) influence individuals’ perceptions and experiences of their own sexuality (ex. fear that one’s sexual orientation could be discovered)? How can we reduce stigma related to what is often seen as a sensitive topic – how do people feel when asked questions about this during diagnostic tests or treatment consultations?
  86. How much does ‘self-talk’ impact our moods, level of stress, choice in medication prescribed by doctors, rehabilitation from an injury…what role does being able to correctly identify depressive symptoms have on whether or not someone will seek help and benefit from it? How does self-care and informal care (ex. having the support of family, friends) influence the effectiveness of formal healthcare systems – i.e., primary care physicians who prescribe medications or psychotherapists who offer talk therapies like CBT & DBT?
  87. How important is education on this topic to help people realize what depression is and isn’t, as well as what might be helpful for them to do if they notice certain symptoms creeping up in their own lives? Is there a role for drug companies here – can we educate doctors and patients about how marketing strategies oversimplify the conversation around mental health issues and drugs so that everyone involved is more informed and hopefully can make better decisions together?
  88. What are some of the largest challenges people with disabilities face in terms of healthcare systems? What would it look like if everyone had integrated care that recognized the interconnectedness between mental and physical health – what kinds of obstacles might we face in designing such a system? How can society reduce barriers to accessing services and support (ex. social stigmas around anxiety or depression)?
  89. What types of experiences do young children have when growing up in single-parent families, given socioeconomic and cultural differences across different communities…how does this impact their development and progress through school/college/career…in what ways might this affect their own life choices dependent on whether or not they grew up with parents who were married or together versus one parent at home full-time versus both working outside the home full-time?
  90. What other factors can impact a child’s life outcomes – how does living in poverty, access to education & employment opportunities, the availability of affordable childcare to enable parents to go to school or work…how do these experiences influence young children who will be growing up in this environment over the course of their lives?
  91. How effective is current legislation surrounding homelessness…which specific changes/steps should be taken to address this problem and make a difference for people across all demographics (in terms of age, race, economic status)? What types of initiatives have been most successful when intervention has come from both governmental and nongovernmental sources?
  92. Various cultures face different issues within healthcare systems due to culture-specific beliefs about what constitutes ‘the body’ and, by extension, how various parts of the body are ‘treated’ in order to heal…what is some specific information on these topics from a variety of countries? What do we know about differences between medical practices across cultures (i.e., some groups believe practicing better hygiene and hand-washing can help prevent illness)?
  93. What types of changes/steps should we be taking to improve the quality of care for patients who come into outpatient or inpatient settings with certain chronic diseases or conditions like cancer, heart disease, depression…in what ways does this relate back to improving education around these diseases and conditions so that more people seek out help when faced with symptoms?
  94. The relationship between uric acid and Alzheimer’s disease in men and women.
  95. Study of the safety and efficacy of natalizumab in adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
  96. What is the prognosis for uterine rupture during a trial of labor after cesarean delivery?
  97. To study the effect on absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) profile when administering medication orally to rats by intragastric administration vs intraperitoneal injection directly into their stomachs.
  98. A double blind placebo controlled crossover study of QLQ-LC13: Cancer Module in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients with bone pain refractory to analgesics. Documentation of opioid-related toxicity during first-line palliative treatment.
  99. Does soy protein intake affect bone mineral density in postmenopausal women?
  100. A randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial of N-acetylcysteine as an adjunct to methylphenidate for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in adults.
  101. Do MRI techniques provide similar information on tumor response to chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy?
  102. Comparison of dexamethasone eye drops at 4 times a day versus 8 times a day in healthy adult volunteers. The effect on ocular discomfort and Meibomian gland secretions.
  103. The right ventricular function curve may indicate mortality risk for patients with left bundle branch block (LB).
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