Urban Myth

Don’t Freak Out

The requirement to do pelvics, DREs and other invasive exams on classmates is an urban myth. You will not have to stick a speculum or your finger in anybody in your class, period.

To learn how to do a pelvic, for example, on your OB-Gyn rotation you will probably observe your resident do a few at which time he will let you try your hand. Believe it or not it is a rare patient at a teaching hospital who will object to even this.

As for Digitial Rectal Exams, when you do surgery or medicine your resident will just tell you to go do one. The first one you do will fell kind of akward but after a few it will be nothing, just another skill.

It is true that you may do a few “surface anatomy” exercises with your classmates but you will not touch anybody’s breasts, genitals or any other spot which would make anybody uncomfortable. We did practice drawing blood once from each other but that was it. Occasionally the professor will ask for a volunteer to demonstrate some exam skill but this is voluntary. If you don’t want to be touched by your professor or classmates this is perfectly acceptable.

Because you are expected not to be squeamish about other people’s bodies does not mean you are expected to discard your own modesty. When you examine a naked patient you do not strip nude yourself to make him feel more comfortable.

2 thoughts on “Urban Myth

  1. We used a pelvic model- “Peaches”- to whom the professor said as he was looking at and examining her BREASTS- ‘weren’t you here last year? You seem familiar!’ She was able to say ‘yes that’s my ovary’ to each of our team without wincing visibly.

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