while we’re on the topic of genitals…
All I can say is, FRRREEEEEEEEDDDDDOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!
I recently finished a rotation after which I will never ever, ever ever, ever ever ever ever have to do another pelvic exam ever again. For as long as I live. Ever. Never. Ever again.
Never ever. Ever.
I’m quite pleased with that fact. No offense to the ladies, of course. There are plenty of unpleasant physical exams (for both doctor and patient), including the male prostate exam. This is all bourne out of my own ignorance with the pelvic physical exam.
Really it all comes down to the fact that I get really uncomfortable when I have to do something for a patient that I really don’t know how to do–much less to do with the yuck factor. I hate doing rectals and prostate exams too but during medical school I ended up with an attending on one rotation who made me do a prostate exam on every freakin patient that came through his clinic. By the end of that rotation I still hated doing rectals/prostate exams but at least I knew I how to do it. In medical school I never got the chance to practice the actual pelvic physical exam all that much. I did my ob/gyn rotation before graduate school (like 6 or 7 years ago) and even then most of the women seen in the clinics weren’t comfortable with a male medical student. I guess I really can’t blame them. But as a result, I spent most of my clinic time during that rotation checking email.
But here I am 6 or 7 years later except now I’m “doctor so-and-so” and I’m expected to know this stuff. Can you say “mudphudder is fucked”? That’s what I was saying all through that last rotation.
With a pelvic exam, there’s a particular set up (i.e. you don’t want to have to run out of the room looking for stuff in the middle of the exam), there’s a whole formality to it, and then there’s the actual exam: you have to use a speculum, find the cervix, identify discharges… 1) half the time I can even find the cervix. 2) When I do find it, what the hell does a normal cervix look like anyway? Sort of like a pink cherio? But sometimes it’s normal for it to be a little red. Maybe. I’m not sure. 3) Discharge? There are normal discharges (which at least to me don’t look that normal) and then there are a gazillion different abnormal discharges. Do you know what an expelled fetus looks like? I don’t and I don’t want to know. I’ve heard it looks mucousy, like snot. This is what someone named “doctor” told me. SNOT?!?! It all looks like snot! What the fuck? 4) And then, what the hell am I supposed to do with a discharge? Culture it maybe. I don’t know. 5) And then you have random things that pop-up. Like, one time when I was all, what the hell is that string? And then I found out what that string was for.
This is making my head hurt. Is my level of discomfort palpable? Yes. I think it is.
Never ever. Ever again. Ever ever ever. Done.