So How Do You Train To Stick Your Finger Up A Man’s Bum?
THIS isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about: how do you go about training yourself to stick your finger up a man’s bum? No, no, not as part of the festivities on Hampstead Heath but rather, how does a doctor get trained to do prostate exams?
Whatever the answer used to be it seems that it has now got easier as someone has invented the robotic bum:
Dr. Lok: The image shows a medical student practicing a prostate exam on a virtual patient. The virtual patient prostate exam simulation is designed to help students practice and reduce anxiety with intimate exams. In the experience, the student talks to a virtual person and is able to practice their communication skills. The students can conduct a realistic prostate exam on the plastic mannequin. The mannequin is instrumented with force sensors that can measure where the student is examining and with how much pressure. This enables the system to provide a realistic encounter with a virtual patient that includes communication and physical exam components.
Intimate exams (including the clinical breast exam and prostate exam) are extremely high stakes and high impact scenarios for medical students. However, currently there are few tools to enable the practice and acclimation to what are very anxiety generating interactions. Currently, students receive minimal practice and interaction in intimate exams due to the high cost for training and high anxiety nature of the exams.
So our research group has spent the past 4 years exploring whether we can improve medical students preparation and performance in intimate exams using simulations, such as the one seen in the photograph.
I’m sure it won’t be all that long before someone decides to appropriate this technology so as to provide a digital version of Hampstead Heath but that’s not what it was designed for.
But I’m still left with the question of how people used to train to perform these vital examinations? Did they have some supply of indigent patients who would allow someone to rootle around inside in exchange for a cup of tea? Or were the students told to examine each other so that they could endure the experience from both ends?
Inquiring minds want to know…..