“Come and have a feel.”

“Are you wearing gloves? Good. Come and have a feel. (…) See how bumpy it is? This is how a myomatous uterus feels. It’s huge!”

OB to med student shadowing in the OR (operating room) of a university hospital, suggesting for her to do a vaginal exam. It was not clear if consent had been given and the patient had already been anesthetized.

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One thought on ““Come and have a feel.”

  1. Kim says:

    I’m the nursing student in this one. This took place in a rather large European teaching hospital, and while patients generally do sign on entrance that they’re aware of med students taking part in visitations, treatments etc., there was no explicit consent given[1] for examinations by students in the OR. Once every couple of week classes drop off groups of three to six med students to shadow a doctor for an hour, often surprising the doctors. It is also a coworker-suck since the young doctors sometimes only are given a note about their spontaneous teaching duty in the morning (when the chief OB or surgeon doesn’t want to teach or is stuck in a larger surgery). This med student was not a regular on the ward and the doctor improvised, since the procedure, a vaginal hysterectomy, was just about to start. The (female) student was hesitant and gentle, at least.

    [1] Regular ward students usually are required to ask the patient for consent to even attend the procedure beforehand, and most of them do a splendid job at being polite. Patients, btw., retain the right to say no for single procedures like blood draws, physicals etc., even after signing the blank consent form in the beginning.

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