There are some things in medicine you’d think it’d be quite important to get right. To have good technique and know what you’re doing. For, you know, everyone’s sake.
Doctor: “So, what do you want to get out of this clinic today?”
Me [uncharacteristically prepared]: “Well I’d like to understand the basic management of some of the common urological presentations, like haematuria and prostate cancer. And I’ve never done a PR, so I’d like to learn how to do that if possible.”
Doctor: “Great! We’ll see what we can do.”
Half an hour later, in walks Mr Unsuspecting Prostate.
Doctor: “I’d like to examine your prostate if that’s alright”.
Mr P: “That’s fine, doctor”.
Doctor: “And we have a medical student here today. Do you mind if she examines your prostate as well?”
He sits back down at his desk, leaving me standing there with a glove, a sachet of lube and a patient in front of me in the foetal position. I think this is most awkward I’ve felt since coming to med school. I guess I thought there might be some…instruction. I’m aware that if I ask what to do it might make Mr P feel more uncomfortable. And yet if I don’t, I might as well be any old person off the street who just happened to find a glove, some KY jelly and an interesting opportunity.
Oh well, perhaps that line was crossed a while ago. Anyway, I should know. How hard can it be?
I sigh, choose a finger, and go for it.