Local Med Students Donate Bodies to Science -- and Hollywood

Last year, we profiled four Case medical students-turned-professional guinea pigs, who, in exchange for meager sums of money, enrolled in various studies and let doctors prode, prod, and even burn them. One even had part of a lung shaved off. ("Guinea Pig Gang," March 22, 2006). Producers at the Discovery channel read Scene’s story and contacted the subjects last year about starring in their own yet-to be-named show. But before the med students agreed to sign on, they met with Cleveland’s own original doctor-turned-TV star: Michael Roizen. Roizen, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and a regular Oprah guest, admitted that the future doctors “would probably lose some respect” going on the show. But you have to weigh the compromises, he told them. For instance, Roizen may have lost some dignity by becoming Oprah’s no. 1 groupie, but he also lives in a million dollar mansion with an elevator. How many other chief wellness officers can say that? Roizen’s speech “really resonated,” says gang leader Nick Pesa. For a cool $3500 an episode, the trio started shooting last month. We just want to know where to go to pick up our finder’s fee check … -- Rebecca Meiser
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