Friday, July 7, 2017

The perils of being in medicine

When I was a med student, I went to the student health clinic for my annual women's exam.  This was something that I'd done many times before, and there was nothing significant about the exam.

Except for the fact that one week later, I was assigned to work with the male attending who had been up in my lady parts.

We were both totally professional about it, but it was hard not to think about.  A friend of mine had a GI problem requiring her to go to a colorectal surgery, and not long after, had to scrub with the surgeon who did her proctoscopy.  I'm not sure which one of us had it worse.

But what can you do?  I went to med school in a small community.  I didn't even have a car for part of the time.  Student health was the best option.

One thing that really amazed me though was that when I was on my OB/GYN rotation, the chief resident came on our L&D service to deliver her baby.  She chose that.  She was okay with letting med students who had been on her service do her exam.  Am I crazy or is that something nobody in their right minds should ever want to do?


  1. As an L&D nurse, I have had difficulty seeing The docs I work with, I just can't get past the awkwardness. Luckily I am way past the need for OB services, so I have talked my Nurse Practitioner into dealing with the paps and hormone replacement. Hopefully I never need gyn surgery.

  2. Maybe the resident didn't trust any of the other L&D services in the area.

    Also, it's maybe a little hypocritical to encourage the public to allow students to examine them and not be willing to have the same happen to you.

    I do draw the line at students inserting IVs on me though ",

    1. It's not about them being students though. It's about having people that you work with examining your private areas.

  3. Ok, what about colonoscopy? Very private area but you're asleep when it happens.

    Neither one bothers me but I'm over 50 so maybe that's the difference.

    These are body parts that these specialists see hundreds of each year.

    I really doubt they're thinking about your parts when they see you in a different context.

    But by all means do what makes you comfortable. That's one of the wonderful things about being an adult. We can make a lot of our own decisions.

  4. RN here... I was willing to drive two hrs away to the closest emerg/OR to have a simple appy. There is no way I would want to have a co-worker part of my healthcare team, especially if it involves nudity on any level.

  5. I'm an anesthesiologist. I work with our OB service on a regular basis. When it's time for my regular PAP, pelvic exam, etc. I have my GP do it. it's just too weird to have someone I work with looking at my private parts. No thanks.
    I have not had any need for OB services, but I imagine I'd go to a satellite facility where I don't work, if I did.

  6. I had my baby at the hospital where I did med school/ residency. It WAS a little weird when my OB preceptor commented on my having a c section when I was a resident five years after I delivered when I was working up there as a resident. Especially since I'd made a point of not seeing her as a provider bc I thought that would be weird. Hello, hipaa? I guess it doesn't apply when you're a trainee? It didn't bother me that much, but I did think she was pretty unprofessional.

  7. I did not go to the hospital where I did residency because in those 3 years I had the opportunity to observe all the OBs there. They all took call together. Some were Ok but a couple I did not want anywhere near me and was not about to take the chance that they'd be on call when I delivered. So I went up the road to a solo OB in the smaller hospital. I was also on staff there but that was OK.

  8. I had to go to student health once in med school when i was having groin pain. (I'm a girl, btw) The (male) attending who examined me was my family med rotation instructor (and I was on family med at the time...) who also knew me from small group discussions the year before.

    He was very professional about it and asked me if I minded changing into a gown so he could examine me better. I thought it would be weirder to refuse so yes, he examined my groin.

    Unfortunately, he couldn't find out what was wrong with me so he referred me to ortho. Obviously, he referred me to ortho at my hospital, I had rotated on that service about a month prior to that. So I knew the residents and yes, they had to examine my groin as well.

    Fortunately, it turned out I didn't have a groin problem, I had a back problem and it was referred to my groin, so the attending who examined me was able to figure this out by history alone and I got to keep my pants on for his physical exam.

  9. I had two vaginal deliveries in the hospital I work in. I wasn't embarassed at all...

  10. I think that's fair. My main requirement for a GYN is that they can't be someone my husband works directly with (he's a general surgeon). He does robotic stuff, so there's the potential for crossover. I'm also afraid of him doing a colonoscopy on someone I know - only because the idea of his "professional service" circle overlapping with my day-to-day life weirds me out for some reason.

  11. I went into respiratory distress at work and ended up on a vent. First question when I woke up, was "who put my foley in"? Thankfully, my own team passed on the opportunity and let the floor staff take care of that task. I also draw the line on students and IVs.