One of the most exciting scientific fields is healthcare and medicine. Not everyone, though, can participate as a doctor or any other health professional. Is there another way to contribute to it? The answer is yes.

The following can be weird or even gross ideas, but they are effective or show a lot of promise in advancing healthcare in the United States and the rest of the world.

1. Clinical Trials

There’s a good reason why the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) sets a high standard when it comes to anything related to health — safety, besides the effectiveness, is a priority.

Before a drug or treatment becomes available in the market, it undergoes many types of tests, including clinical trials. These are investigations to know the efficacy and safety of the product through the voluntary participation of humans. It can run for a few weeks to months or even years.

You can participate in them even if you’re not sick. Let’s take, for example, the healthy clinical trials in Miami, FL. If you don’t have any illness, your role in the process is to serve as part of the control group.

2. Stool or Fecal Donation

Scientist working in laboratory

You definitely read that correctly: You can donate your poop for the benefit of science. But why should you do it, though?

One of the reasons is to help patients with C. difficile infection. It currently affects over half a million Americans. Over the last few years, it has become more frequent and challenging to treat due to improper antibiotic use.

This type of infection can be life-threatening. It can result in dehydration, kidney failure, and inflammation of the colon. When treated early, though, a person may fully recover.

A novel treatment option is fecal microbiota transplantation. It is a process of introducing a “healthy poop” into a person with the condition who may not be responding to antibiotics. The primary objective is to help restore the microbiome or the gut flora by adding good bacteria.

Initial studies suggest it has an 85% success rate even during the first try. It may also help treating other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and even obesity.

3. Whole-Body Donation

Let’s face it that the cost of death in the United States is not cheap. Out-of-pocket funeral expenses can already reach more than $7,000.

If you want to save yourself and your loved ones this financial burden, one of the options is whole-body donation. It means you bequest your body to the hospital or school for further research.

If it feels a complete violation of your dead self, know you still have some control over it. For one, they cannot do anything about it unless you voluntarily donate yourself. You have to fill out a form before you pass away.

You can also decide how long they can use your body. In some cases, it can be indefinite, which means they can use it for as long as they want, but they’re also responsible for your proper burial. It may also be according to a specific timeframe.

These ideas do not only make you a generous individual. They can also help you find a treatment or even a cure that you and your loved ones can take advantage of in the future.