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77 interesting medical research topics for 2024

Last updated

25 November 2023


Claire Bonneau

Calling all medical students and healthcare professionals—are you looking for a new medical research topic to sink your teeth into? If so, this article is for you.

Medical research is the gateway to improved patient care and expanding our available treatment options. However, finding a relevant and compelling research topic can be challenging.

Use this article as a jumping-off point to select an interesting medical research topic for your next paper or clinical study.

How to choose a medical research topic

When choosing a research topic, it’s essential to consider a couple of things. What topics interest you? What unanswered questions do you want to address? 

During the decision-making and brainstorming process, here are a few helpful tips to help you pick the right medical research topic:

Focus on a particular field of study

The best medical research is specific to a particular area. Generalized studies are often too broad to produce meaningful results, so we advise picking a specific niche early in the process. 

Maybe a certain topic interests you, or your industry knowledge reveals areas of need.

Look into commonly researched topics

Once you’ve chosen your research field, do some preliminary research. What have other academics done in their papers and projects? 

From this list, you can focus on specific topics that interest you without accidentally creating a copycat project. This groundwork will also help you uncover any literature gaps—those may be beneficial areas for research.

Get curious and ask questions

Now you can get curious. Ask questions that start with why, how, or what. These questions are the starting point of your project design and will act as your guiding light throughout the process. 

For example: 

  • What impact does pollution have on children’s lung function in inner-city neighborhoods? 

  • Why is pollution-based asthma on the rise? 

  • How can we address pollution-induced asthma in young children? 

77 medical research topics worth exploring in 2023

Need some research inspiration for your upcoming paper or clinical study? We’ve compiled a list of 77 topical and in-demand medical research ideas. Let’s take a look. 

Exciting new medical research topics

If you want to study cutting-edge topics, here are some exciting options:

COVID-19 and long COVID symptoms

Since 2020, COVID-19 has been a hot-button topic in medicine, along with the long-term symptoms in those with a history of COVID-19. 

Examples of COVID-19-related research topics worth exploring include:

  • The long-term impact of COVID-19 on cardiac and respiratory health

  • COVID-19 vaccination rates

  • The evolution of COVID-19 symptoms over time

  • New variants and strains of the COVID-19 virus

  • Changes in social behavior and public health regulations amid COVID-19


Finding ways to cure or reduce the disease burden of chronic infectious diseases is a crucial research area. Vaccination is a powerful option and a great topic to research. 

Examples of vaccination-related research topics include:

  • mRNA vaccines for viral infections

  • Biomaterial vaccination capabilities

  • Vaccination rates based on location, ethnicity, or age

  • Public opinion about vaccination safety 

Artificial tissues fabrication

With the need for donor organs increasing, finding ways to fabricate artificial bioactive tissues (and possibly organs) is a popular research area. 

Examples of artificial tissue-related research topics you can study include:

  • The viability of artificially printed tissues

  • Tissue substrate and building block material studies

  • The ethics and efficacy of artificial tissue creation

Medical research topics for medical students

For many medical students, research is a big driver for entering healthcare. If you’re a medical student looking for a research topic, here are some great ideas to work from:

Sleep disorders

Poor sleep quality is a growing problem, and it can significantly impact a person’s overall health. 

Examples of sleep disorder-related research topics include:

  • How stress affects sleep quality

  • The prevalence and impact of insomnia on patients with mental health conditions

  • Possible triggers for sleep disorder development

  • The impact of poor sleep quality on psychological and physical health

  • How melatonin supplements impact sleep quality

Alzheimer’s and dementia 

Cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise worldwide. They currently have no cure. As a result, research about these topics is in high demand. 

Examples of dementia-related research topics you could explore include:

  • The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in a chosen population

  • Early onset symptoms of dementia

  • Possible triggers or causes of cognitive decline with age

  • Treatment options for dementia-like conditions

  • The mental and physical burden of caregiving for patients with dementia

Lifestyle habits and public health

Modern lifestyles have profoundly impacted the average person’s daily habits, and plenty of interesting topics explore its effects. 

Examples of lifestyle and public health-related research topics include:

  • The nutritional intake of college students

  • The impact of chronic work stress on overall health

  • The rise of upper back and neck pain from laptop use

  • Prevalence and cause of repetitive strain injuries (RSI)

Controversial medical research paper topics

Medical research is a hotbed of controversial topics, content, and areas of study. 

If you want to explore a more niche (and attention-grabbing) concept, here are some controversial medical research topics worth looking into:

The benefits and risks of medical cannabis

Depending on where you live, the legalization and use of cannabis for medical conditions is controversial for the general public and healthcare providers.

Examples of medical cannabis-related research topics that might grab your attention include:

  • The legalization process of medical cannabis

  • The impact of cannabis use on developmental milestones in youth users

  • Cannabis and mental health diagnoses

  • CBD’s impact on chronic pain

  • Prevalence of cannabis use in young people

  • The impact of maternal cannabis use on fetal development 

  • Understanding how THC impacts cognitive function

Human genetics

The Human Genome Project identified, mapped, and sequenced all human DNA genes. Its completion in 2003 opened up a world of exciting and controversial studies in human genetics.

Examples of human genetics-related research topics worth delving into include:

  • Medical genetics and the incidence of genetic-based health disorders

  • Behavioral genetics differences between identical twins

  • Genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders

  • Machine learning technologies for genetic research

Sexual health studies

Human sexuality and sexual health are important (yet often stigmatized) medical topics that need new research and analysis.

As a diverse field ranging from sexual orientation studies to sexual pathophysiology, examples of sexual health-related research topics include:

  • The incidence of sexually transmitted infections within a chosen population

  • Mental health conditions within the LGBTQIA+ community

  • The impact of untreated sexually transmitted infections

  • Access to safe sex resources (condoms, dental dams, etc.) in rural areas

Health and wellness research topics

Human wellness and health are trendy topics in modern medicine as more people are interested in finding natural ways to live healthier lifestyles. 

If this field of study interests you, here are some big topics in the wellness space:

Gluten sensitivity

Gluten allergies and intolerances have risen over the past few decades. If you’re interested in exploring this topic, your options range in severity from mild gastrointestinal symptoms to full-blown anaphylaxis. 

Some examples of gluten sensitivity-related research topics include:

  • The pathophysiology and incidence of Celiac disease

  • Early onset symptoms of gluten intolerance

  • The prevalence of gluten allergies within a set population

  • Gluten allergies and the incidence of other gastrointestinal health conditions

Pollution and lung health

Living in large urban cities means regular exposure to high levels of pollutants. 

As more people become interested in protecting their lung health, examples of impactful lung health and pollution-related research topics include:

  • The extent of pollution in densely packed urban areas

  • The prevalence of pollution-based asthma in a set population

  • Lung capacity and function in young people

  • The benefits and risks of steroid therapy for asthma

  • Pollution risks based on geographical location

Plant-based diets

Plant-based diets like vegan and paleo diets are emerging trends in healthcare due to their limited supporting research. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the potential benefits or risks of holistic, diet-based medicine, examples of plant-based diet research topics to explore include:

  • Vegan and plant-based diets as part of disease management

  • Potential risks and benefits of specific plant-based diets

  • Plant-based diets and their impact on body mass index

  • The effect of diet and lifestyle on chronic disease management

Health supplements

Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry. Many health-conscious people take supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbal medicine, and more. 

Examples of health supplement-related research topics worth investigating include:

  • Omega-3 fish oil safety and efficacy for cardiac patients

  • The benefits and risks of regular vitamin D supplementation

  • Health supplementation regulation and product quality

  • The impact of social influencer marketing on consumer supplement practices

  • Analyzing added ingredients in protein powders

Healthcare research topics

Working within the healthcare industry means you have insider knowledge and opportunity. Maybe you’d like to research the overall system, administration, and inherent biases that disrupt access to quality care. 

While these topics are essential to explore, it is important to note that these studies usually require approval and oversight from an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This ensures the study is ethical and does not harm any subjects. 

For this reason, the IRB sets protocols that require additional planning, so consider this when mapping out your study’s timeline. 

Here are some examples of trending healthcare research areas worth pursuing:

The pros and cons of electronic health records

The rise of electronic healthcare charting and records has forever changed how medical professionals and patients interact with their health data. 

Examples of electronic health record-related research topics include:

  • The number of medication errors reported during a software switch

  • Nurse sentiment analysis of electronic charting practices

  • Ethical and legal studies into encrypting and storing personal health data

Inequities within healthcare access

Many barriers inhibit people from accessing the quality medical care they need. These issues result in health disparities and injustices. 

Examples of research topics about health inequities include:

  • The impact of social determinants of health in a set population

  • Early and late-stage cancer stage diagnosis in urban vs. rural populations

  • Affordability of life-saving medications

  • Health insurance limitations and their impact on overall health

Diagnostic and treatment rates across ethnicities

People who belong to an ethnic minority are more likely to experience barriers and restrictions when trying to receive quality medical care. This is due to systemic healthcare racism and bias. 

As a result, diagnostic and treatment rates in minority populations are a hot-button field of research. Examples of ethnicity-based research topics include:

  • Cancer biopsy rates in BIPOC women

  • The prevalence of diabetes in Indigenous communities

  • Access inequalities in women’s health preventative screenings

  • The prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension in Black populations

Pharmaceutical research topics

Large pharmaceutical companies are incredibly interested in investing in research to learn more about potential cures and treatments for diseases. 

If you’re interested in building a career in pharmaceutical research, here are a few examples of in-demand research topics:

Cancer treatment options

Clinical research is in high demand as pharmaceutical companies explore novel cancer treatment options outside of chemotherapy and radiation. 

Examples of cancer treatment-related research topics include:

  • Stem cell therapy for cancer

  • Oncogenic gene dysregulation and its impact on disease

  • Cancer-causing viral agents and their risks

  • Treatment efficacy based on early vs. late-stage cancer diagnosis

  • Cancer vaccines and targeted therapies

  • Immunotherapy for cancer

Pain medication alternatives

Historically, opioid medications were the primary treatment for short- and long-term pain. But, with the opioid epidemic getting worse, the need for alternative pain medications has never been more urgent. 

Examples of pain medication-related research topics include:

  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms and risks

  • Early signs of pain medication misuse

  • Anti-inflammatory medications for pain control

Are you interested in contributing life-changing research? Today’s medical research is part of the future of clinical patient care. 

After you choose the right topic for your study, make data collection and trend identification more effortless than ever with Dovetail

As your go-to resource for speedy and accurate data analysis, we are proud to partner with healthcare researchers to innovate and improve the future of healthcare.

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