Notes from the vagina

As I've written in the not so distant past, my pelvic exam experience was not as traumatizing as I had predicted it would be...irreparably scared for life, yes, but I have gained a lot of respect for the vagina and female pelvic exam models. I'll also say that I cannot conjure a more awkward than three guys sitting around a woman in the lithotomy position in a small exam room while another woman explains the finer points of her...ahem...anatomy. Completely in role play.

Here's some of the more interesting feedback points that I received from my lovely teacher Fay (who liked to be called Faymous...and had a pretty sweet tat across the left side of her abdomen) and my silent mental responses:

-Please put your thumb down-
"Sorry! Apparently when I'm nervously prodding around a woman's privates for the first time with 4 people observing me I lose track of where my digits are..."

-You don't have to press quite that hard-
"Sorry! I'll be more gentle...I don't know that you were so sensitive down there, I barely moved my finger. I guess the wince of pain was my first clue"

-Push harder-
"But didn't you just say softer? I'm so confused"

-Pull down from your shoulder, not your arm-

"I don't know what that means!!! This is my first time using this medieval torture implement"

-Stop being so polite, look down there not up here-

"Sorry, you're the one that keeps talking to me. My mother taught me to look at people when they're talking, not to stare at their vagina!"

-You had good technique with that walking motion, you might need use that on a woman with a larger clitoris-
"I just had a vagina instructor compliment me on technique...I am the most awesome clitoral inspector ever! I have reached a new low in my life, I shall tell no one"

-You'll notice that there's some cervical mucous and some red pigmentation, that's normal since I'm pretty much mid-cycle-
"Don't gag, poker face, poker face...it kind of looks like someone sneezed on your cervix...don't gag, don't laugh...poker face. "

-What would you say to a woman who is sitting something like this? (knees close together)-

"How do I say spread your legs without saying spread your legs? Uh, uh...I have to ask."

-Make your sweeps bigger-

"size does matter...poker face"

"hehe...not the first time I've heard that...PROFESSIONALISM!!!"

-You were very gentle and it wasn't entirely an uncomfortable experience once you made your movements smaller-

"Thank you??? My confidence has increased at least 0.5% because of your backhanded near-compliment."

-You did a good job of making words into plain English, not too dumbed down, not too complex-
"Sweet, that's what I go for...can I leave now instead of watching the other guys violate your womanhood? No? Ok...I'll just watch sweaty guy and overly confident guy who did this last year, but failed pathology violate you. I feel dirty being here. Maybe if I stare at the poster on the wall behind her it will look like I'm paying attention. Stop calling my attention to your vagina...No I was just all up in there, I don't need to see your cervix again I don't think it has changed in the past 7 minutes...fine I'll feign interest"


M said...

I'm trying to think of a word to describe the entire experience and "awkward" is the only thing that really sticks out.

I had no idea this was how students got trained. My god. *laughing*

Bostonian in NY said...

Contrived and unrealistic are better words

The Lone Coyote said...

Wow, that was quite some feedback you got there. Overall, I think our models were pretty good, though I did have some classmates with some really random stories, especially from the male models who did the prostate exams. But congrats on surviving yet another med school rite of passage.