GYN/Breast and GU/Rectal exams

So I've got one of the aspects of medical school that I have dreaded to this point coming up in a few days: The GYN exam. I've seen a few pelvic exams and even with the most experienced hands, it's an unpleasant prospect for the patient as well as the examiner. Appropriate to nothing, our chapter of AMWA just put on their performance of the Vagina monologues, which only adds to the comedic fodder/anxiety that I'm going to experience.

It's not so much the vagina that creeps me out, it's the fact that I have to insert portions of my body into portions of someone else's body that have until this point in my life only been broached from an extracurricular/recreational angle. Not only that, but I'm probably going to have to have my face far too close for comfort fairly close to a complete stranger's vagina, inflicting the torture that is the duck-billed speculum and cervical swab. And then this poor lady has to endure the entire line of medical students serially going through the same horrible exam. I feel really bad for the patient having to go through the discomfort of us clumsy students clumsily poking about in her nether regions. At the same time, I find the cervix is one of the most repulsive and horrifying places that I have ever visited in the human anatomy (although that opinion is heavily influenced by ED patients and you can only imagine the state of hygine of someone who presents to the ED with "purulent discharge" for 3+ days).

To be fair, I'm equally put off about having to poke around some dude's wedding tackle and then place my finger into his rectum. The poop chute is meant as an exit physiologically, and anyone that's willing to get paid a couple hundred dollars to have a bunch of strangers insert their gloved fingers into his chocolate starfish is suspect in my book. I think the most painful aspect will come from the referred pain of having to check for inguinal hernias by following the path of spermatic cord up through the inguinal canal with my finger, a maneuver the requires inverting the patient's scrotum up to the level the inguinal canal and having him cough...ouchie I'm getting shivers just thinking about it.

All kidding aside, I have to thank these people for their willingness to volunteer their bodies and the opportunity to learn from them because they save us from having to train on each other. I personally don't want any of my classmates going near my anus with their knobby little fingers. So thank you, and to show my appreciation, everyone gets two packets of surgilube on whatever is being inserted into their bodily orifices!


Anonymous said...

Cool blog. I am an engineer who sometimes wonders about med school.

Go SOX!!!!! Let us redeem ourselves after the horrifying conclusion to the Pats season.

2 questions:

1. Are any of the female patients attractive? And I don't mean in a creepy pervey kind of way, just in a "I didn't want to vomit" kind of way. I feel out of it and a little off some mornings now. I can't even begin to fathom part of my job (or training for my job as the case may be) including fingering 400lb unbathed women with vaginal issues. I bet Scarlett Johansson isn't coming in for a tune up though.

2. Do you get penis envy if the dude has one that is bigger than yours?


Bostonian in NY said...

HAHA! Great questions:

1)In short, no. I mean sure, there are attractive individuals who are owners/operators of vaginas which occasionally need maintenence, but none that I have seen. Plus when you're in a situation like that as a medical professional, you have to put on your professional pants and not think about people in terms of hot or not.

2)No, that's usually the last thing on my mind. I'm usually thinking of what I have to do next and not focusing on the size of his north american one-eyed trouser snake. If you look back through the archives I've got a post on having to grab another dude's junk and ram a tube down it. I believe the post is called "Grabbing another dude's junk".