One of my instructors insisted that in medical school you have to practice on each other. I know that med students practice drawing blood and stuff on each other but he was also adamant that med students also do pelvic exams on the female students and vice versa. Is that actually true? I want to be a doctor but I don't know how I'd feel having all of my male classmates getting up close and personal with my lady bits when I haven't even let my boyfriend do that in the significantly more fun way.
Drawing blood on each other yes. I did that (my antecubital veins are fabulous) That is normal. But pelvic exams….
WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK.
THAT IS NOT OK.
If any instructor is trying to tell you that you need to let your classmates practice pelvic exams on you, please report that person and run away.
There are lovely people, saints really, who are trained to teach that and are handsomely reimbursed for letting medical students learn how to do that exam on them. That is not your job just because you have a vagina.
Rude. Ew. I mean, did he tell the male students to drop their trousers and let their classmates learn how to do a male genital and digital rectal exam? Turn and cough guys! Wtf.
Brb, got the heebie jeebies from how creepy that instructor is.
Please excuse me briefly while I go vom errwhurr. When I get back, Anon, we are running away, far away, and calling a lawyer to press sexual harassment charges.
The closest anyone ever got to my bits in school was looking for my femoral pulse… and I nearly punched the doctor that did it because she didn’t warn me. In OMM when we had to check each others pubic tubercles, we were good about warning each other.
The “instructor” in the original question may have some actual (historical, out-of-date) facts behind his assertions — because until the advent (and widespread acceptance) of standardized patients among US medical schools in the 1960’s to 1980’s, one of the occasional methods of ensuring that pre-clinical-rotation medical students had been exposed to a few “normal” genitalia/rectal/breast exams (within an educational setting, that is…) was to use fellow medical students as volunteers.
I have no actual verifiable reference for this story, but: one of our ancient med school attending/professors used to introduce his lecture on the prostate exam by recounting how, when he was a med student (probably back in the 1940s?), male classmates would be recruited to serve as (paid) volunteers for the entire class to practice digital rectal exams. According to this professor, groups of “10-15” students would enter an exam room where a male, lying on an exam table and draped/curtained in such a way that his identity would not be visible, would serve as their “test patient” for digital rectal exams.
Thankfully, by the time I got to this point of my medical education, Standardized Patients were a thing. Fascinating article on the historical development of the Standardized Patient here. I will be forever grateful to “Paula”, the fantastic and anxiety-reducing Standardized Patient who taught me and my classmates how to perform confident, thorough, professional pelvic + breast exams.
And for some fun reading, check out: A straightdope.com forum thread within which some old-timer doctors recount experiences of learning intimate physical exam skills on classmates…