Make Money By Letting Scientists Experiment On You
Published 11/23/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
During graduate school I roomed with a medical student, who's still a good friend of mine. Although he and all of his medical friends studied hard, they also partied hard - very hard. They were quite the rowdy bunch. Together with his medical and dental friends from other neighboring prestigious schools, they consumed alcohol and other things like you wouldn't believe. Although I could probably go on for days about the many weird things that happened in our apartment, the thing I wanted to talk about was one of the things he used to do for money (no he wasn't a drug dealer, if that's what you're thinking).
Make Money By Being a Human Guinea Pig
What my roommate used to do was answer advertisements in the newspaper or respond to requests through his medical school for open call patients who were interested in participating as subjects in scientific studies. The scientific studies he submitted himself for were for substance abuse related clinical research projects. His qualification for the studies involved his chronic prior and current usage of alcohol and illicit substances (party drug variety). The studies were always confidential and he was paid quite handsomely for his time. I think he agreed to be a paid guinea pig because he needed the extra money for further boozing.
Frequently this involved him showing up at the research center for a few hours at a time and allowing the researchers to put him through a series of mental and physical tests. Now you might be thinking, easy money - how hard could it be? But everytime he came back from those experiments, he was very groggy and disoriented, having been required to ingest some type of experimental drug and then complete a gaming test on the computer to assess his mental faculties. The pay was reportedly very good at a few hundred dollars for a few sessions, but I think the tests eventually took a toll on him. He was never in any danger or pain but it simply consumed too much of his medical school studying time. Every time he came back home he had to spend the rest of the entire day recuperating from his experience at the lab. Studying or performing any type of strenuous activity was out of the question due to his non-permanent but extended dreamlike state. However, by voluntarily submitting himself to experimentation by researchers and allowing himself to be poked and prodded like a common laboratory guinea pig, he managed to earn some extra spending cash and make some money on the side.
I guess I'm not really suggesting that anyone go out and subject themselves to experiments like this to earn a few bucks, but some people donate sperm and others donate eggs, so I just wanted to throw this one out there as an interesting insight into what some people do for extra spending money. :)