Emily Yoffe on being a Human Guinea Pig.

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
July 5 2007 5:19 PM

Oh, No She Didn't!

Emily Yoffe talks with readers about being a Human Guinea Pig.

Emily Yoffe was online at Washingtonpost.com on Thursday, July 5, to discuss her adventures as Slate's Human Guinea Pig, the latest of which involved being examined by medical students. An unedited transcript of the chat follows.

(Continued from Page 4)

The people who are trained to be genital/urinary standardized patients really do instruct the young doctors in how to perform the exam, what hurts, when to press harder etc. What an amazing job!

_______________________

Kingstowne, Va.: Can I receive free treatment by volunteering to be a patient?

Hmmm... on second thought....

Advertisement

Emily Yoffe: Go with that "second thought"

_______________________

Clinton, N.Y.: I love you, Emily Yoffe! You always bring to light the funny, telling detail and your Dear Prudence advice is fab.

Suggestion for a Human Guinea Pig gig: Do a cooking class, not at CIA or the like, but at a Y, or some such more modest operation. I am a nervous wreck in the kitchen, and have always wondered whether a course would make me any more competent or confident.

Emily Yoffe: Thank you so much. I'm also one of those freaked out cooks. I'm so glad I don't have an open kitchen, that way my guests don't see me bleeding and crying on their food.

I think going to a really serious cooking school would be a fun Guinea Pig.

_______________________

New York, N.Y.: Have you ever considered backup singer for jingles? Every time I hear an add with a jingle that involves multiple singers I can't help but to imagine them in the recording studio singing these cheesy/odd lines.

For example the loan ad for 8-6-6-66-Faster, "You've got the Green Light." And these are good singers. Are they professional backups, karaoke flies, American Idol rejects? I'd like you to find out. Thanks.

Emily Yoffe: I did make my singing debut at Strathmore Hall for Human Guinea Pig. My editor said listening to it was the aural equivalent of watching the Hindenberg explode.

_______________________

Gaithersburg, Md.: I really enjoy the "Human Guinea Pig" series. I was wondering how the "Dear Prudence" experience is different for you. Certainly the readers seem more ... um ... pointed ... in their opinions.

Emily Yoffe: They are different, but I love the reader feedback from Prudence because people will immediately tell me if they disagree (strenuously) with my advice. I learn a lot from them.

_______________________

A good bedside manner is nice: But I'm much more interested in a knowledgable doctor; I'd gladly sacrafice some social skills for a top notch surgeon. In fact, I don't think one person can be all, so I'd rather have the doctoring skills. I have my own friends on the outside, thanks. What I need is an orthopaedic surgeon, and if he's a little low on the social skills, that's okay, you'd have to have a bit of an ego to be able to cut into people and save lives.

Emily Yoffe: Good point. But I know from (too many) friends who have cancer that it's very disturbing if your oncologist does not make a human connection with you. With your surgeon, during most of your relationship you're unconscious. With other doctors, you want good medicine, absolutely, but feeling your are a real person to your doctor is also important.

_______________________

Emily Yoffe: Thanks everyone for your fascinating questions and good Human Guinea Pig suggestions!

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:25 AM The Brilliant Fake Novels of Listen Up Philip
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 9:39 AM The International-Student Revolving Door Foreign students shouldn’t have to prove they’ll go home after graduating to get a visa.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.