Complaint: Male medical students on clerkships, at every Medical School, seem to have bets on who will collect the pot of the first male student to do a practice pelvic on a woman classmate, a woman attending or community MD, or a big-name woman professional patient or celebrity. It’s a competition every ob-gyn clerkship rotation – how far can the guys get without someone realizing that they are just the MEDICAL STUDENT. Every year, there seems to be a special ‘Honors’ associated with doing the ‘dirty’ on a woman professional – with big hands – and telling about it later. The more good-looking, the bigger the pro football hands, the harder the pass attempt. It’s never a secret who medical students care for on clerkships – classmates, attendings, and community physicians get put in a special category bin to try things on, and have things put into the rumor mill about. ‘Confidential’ is never really respected with medical students. Medical students don’t know what ‘confidential’ means, and they are into bragging to girlfriends, parents, friends, classmates and Facebook about what they did that day or week. But it’s 2012, and it’s very disconcerting to have a male medical student tailing a woman ob-gyn who has a scheduled woman MD patient next at Beachwood Cleveland Clinic Ob-Gyn = the premier burb Clinic of the Beachwood suburb = where women go for a moment of privacy. No one wants to go down as one of the first 10 pelvic exams of a male medical student going for Honors on ob-gyn clerkship – consent is required, and they don’t know this, and they don’t what anything feels like yet. And my year of Medical School that Honors in ob-gyn when to a looker-guy who had absolutely no interest in pursuing ob-gyn — just women — so he was getting his ‘experience’ that way – learning his way around down there like Steven Hawking would like to. And it seems to be the Bradley Cooper look-a-likes that try this. These Bradleys assume that the woman MD patient will be so entranced with the guy’s superficial attributes, that she will submit herself blissfully to his BIG CLUMSY HANDS; his first ‘fumble’ on the job of being an ob-gyn for two months. And it’s the woman MD patient, and the medical assistant, who seem to be the only ones objecting that this is not appropriate – for the patient, or the male student. Guy student ‘docs’ are not Tebow – or Bradley Cooper – and Tebow’s fumbles are just with footballs – and the fumbles in ob-gyn hurt. There are women patients who break into tears describing their last humiliating pelvic exam – by licensed Ohio Ob-Gyns – there’s one of those rough guys on the Medical Board even – an abortion expert. And that the guy students, or the women attendings, aren’t sensitive to colleague women ‘feelings’ means that nothing has improved since the days of Semmelweis – we are talking 1800s. In Semmelweis’s day, if women went into labor on the midwife off-days, they would go into hysterical crying – knowing that they would probably die of puerperal fever. None of the attendings or students noticed except Semmelweis – they didn’t even notice to wash their hands. Semmelweis got his clue by watching women cry on the days that they were admitted to the medical student service – the women knew something was wrong, just not what – but knew they had a high chance of dying of childbed fever. So all Semmelweis first did was notice the women patients crying – no pelvic exam, no medical history. Semmelweis just watched the woman patient’s faces & death rates – unlike the male medical students at Beachwood Cleveland Clinic busy flirting with the woman ob-gyn attending. Obviously looking for Honors in all the wrong places; been there, seen that. So the medical student looks like Bradley Cooper – but with big hands and obviously little on the job expertise – that white coat is sparkling – not a crease out of place – just out of the plastic bag. And the room that you are put into has brown stool on the floor by the way – but he’s not going to notice nor is ‘the help’ that probably put it there. Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth should know that women colleagues seeking a little medical care need a moment of privacy – not that their pelvic will be broadcast on clerkship Rounds that day, Facebook or Twitter later that week, ie did so many pelvic exams end of tweet. In Medical School years ago at CWRU – there was a pile of trouble my year on Medicine for my refusing to workup a fellow student and present him at daily Rounds – all the details of his medical, social, & sexual history would have been forfeit. And the attending, and the Clerkship supervisor, didn’t see that as ‘wrong’ – that this student would never be able to communicate with his classmates in the same way ever again. The ob-gyn charts contain sexual histories, or lack of, ie how many partners, BC use, etc. If guys had these kind of charts, there would be more respect for them. Practicing on colleagues is dangerous if you goof – they can write you up and report you. Think about it before you force your medical student abilities on an another MD, ie would you like that done to you? Get a little more practice first. The ‘just saying No’ of MDs, medical students, and other professionals wishing a minute of medical care without the publicity has to be respected – and their needs to be a policy about this apparently even at Beachwood Cleveland Clinic. The respecting of a woman patient’s gyn privacy, that includes your sexual history, means that it gets given/handed to the medical student before you’ve said NO ten times and had to walk out. The powers that be just assume that there is a woman MD out there somewhere who wants a medical student pelvic – who is just asking for it? Bradley Cooper go home. The Free Clinics, the Indian Health Service, and other places including the Armed Forces, will let you do pelvics until you get some real experience – with individuals whose ‘confidentiality’ – if you break it – won’t matter in Cleveland. Have never seen a guy medical student who doesn’t brag about the number, and the kinds of patients, that he did pelvics on – it’s like one’s first sexual experiences unfortunately. And women classmates just cringe when the boys start in on this creepy recitation. Having to walk out of Beachwood ob-gyn because the staff hasn’t ‘gotten it’ yet in 2012, that women MDs can’t have their pelvic exam on the community Facebook page is so sad. And that the Bradley Cooper medical student hasn’t gotten the sensitivity yet to see this – to look at the woman MDs face not her vagina – is also disconcerting. But he’ll get Honors, it’s written on his pretty face. The answer is ‘No’ from the getgo guys. Practice first on a model even. Women don’t get through medical school to become teaching cases – we’ve paid our dues – stop the flirting long enough to read my face as I walk past you on the way out – the chart doesn’t belong in your hands yet.
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