February 12, 2008

"Her first creation... was a 'vaginal vault' made of a cardboard toilet-paper roll, Play-Doh and a badminton shuttlecock..."

"She has also constructed a scrotum using two wood balls linked by a rubber band (vas deferens) and suspended in an extra-large condom filled with oil and peanut butter."

It's not another art show. This is a serious medical project: Designing anatomical models to train doctors to get over their prudishness so they can examine body parts properly:
[Dr. Carla Pugh] often buys penises at adult “novelty” shops, though they are all erect and circumcised, and sometimes welds on rubber tubing used for synthetic intestines when a foreskin is needed....

“We need permission to fail in a safe environment,” [Dr. Richard M. Satava] said. “Aviation has used simulators since 1955 that are now almost indistinguishable from flying real airplanes and have achieved a remarkable safety record. It’s time that health care followed.”

The models need not be particularly high-tech. “A very sophisticated simulator would be too much for a student,” he said. “For simple tasks like a pelvic exam, a simple simulator like Carla’s is actually preferable. You don’t teach a teenager to drive in a million-dollar Ferrari.”

29 comments:

Roger said...

This may fall in the "too much information" category.

Bob said...

Shuttlecock is one of those words that Beavis and Butthead would snicker over. For bonus points, what's the proper name of the badminton racket?

Bob said...

Ya think that the "vaginal vault" is similar to Al Gore's Social Security "Lockbox?"

AllenS said...

Has the art of papier-mache been lost?

MadisonMan said...

I haven't noticed any squeamishness on the part of my doctors -- so is this more a problem for female patients then? Or do I just have unshameable doctors?

I also think it's interesting that the comments have a joking tone. Is that to mask something?

vet66 said...

I had hoped that at this stage of the so-called "sexual-revolution" we had, as a society, moved beyond this self-destructive prudery.

Ob-Gyn's and GP's should be working on technique by now and not puritanism.

Where are the women here? Anybody besides me witness the birthing process? NOW that is objective...

ricpic said...

Why substitute simulators for real guinea pigs? Isn't that what poor patients are for?

Ann Althouse said...

They have to hide whatever squeamishness they may feel. The problem manifests itself in the quality of the examination.

I have certainly noticed a difference between a female and a male gynecologist. Males seem to be unnecessarily rough out of a need to demonstrate that it's purely professional. That's how I interpret it anyway.

AllenS said...

Perhaps you need to choose a gynecologist on the size of his mustache. Size does matter, apparently.

save_the_rustbelt said...

No wonder nurses think medical students are such knuckleheads.

Luckily a year of internship and 3 years of residency cure it (when a patient has a fecal impaction at 3:00 am the nurses will invite the resident on call to get involved, so as to cure the squeamishness problem and because many residents are arrogant little SOBs).

As my wife (an RN) says about the male parts "after you see the first thousand or so it gets kinda routine."

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Ann Althouse: I have certainly noticed a difference between a female and a male gynecologist. Males seem to be unnecessarily rough out of a need to demonstrate that it's purely professional. That's how I interpret it anyway.

I've noticed the same phenomenon among barbers, back when I had enough hair to justify visiting one.

rhhardin said...

Some campus feminist group sent Limbaugh a chocolate vagina (must be part for the whole, in modern naming terminology; vulva sounds vulgar) that they distribute.

The amusing part wasn't that but that Rush got calls telling him he was holding it upside down.

I imagine this is a medical training problem that you want to remedy early.

rhhardin said...

Today's sociological reference : ``Behavior in Private Places : Sustaining Definitions of Reality in Gynecological Examinations'' Joan P. Emerson, 1970.

rhhardin said...

con't, Behavior in Private Places, here it is online (.pdf)

Patricia said...

I love this quote from the end of the article:

“That’s America,” he continued. “Canada got the French. Australia got the convicts. We got the Puritans and we never got over it.”

One wonders what America would be like had we gotten the French, or the convicts, etc.

Slim999 said...

Ann,

Don't you fear the day when your doctor won't even operate on your privates because she is a Muslim? And because that's not culturally allowed?

Or, she won't wash her hands up to the elbows, because showing that much skin could get her arrested by the sharia-ites?

Already happening in Britian.

Middle Class Guy said...

Slim999 said...
Ann,

Don't you fear the day when your doctor won't even operate on your privates because she is a Muslim? And because that's not culturally allowed?

Or, she won't wash her hands up to the elbows, because showing that much skin could get her arrested by the sharia-ites?

Already happening in Britian.



And we want to be advanced like the Brits and have Universal Health Care?

Pogo said...

Males seem to be unnecessarily rough out of a need to demonstrate that it's purely professional.

True, but only partly. Older women do not seem to mind having males doctors, but younger women request female MDs more and more.

From my side, I don't care. Women doctors and PAs that I work with try to avoid the pelvic exam (and female patients in general) because of the demand and increased time needed to see these patients. Hence there are shortages and longer waits to see a female provider.

Men are happy to abdicate this exam because among younger women there is always the risk you will be accused of assault ...even if you have an assistant with you.

Anyway, this is what happens when you treat men as unnecessary. Why learn this if it only gets you in trouble? Let women do all the exams. They are the Puritans here, by the way, not the guys.

former law student said...

What surprises me: Why no market for the uncut rubber dong? I see a niche opportunity for the porntrepreneur.

Ralph said...

fls, it's expensive to produce, easily damaged, and difficult to clean, just like the real thing.

I never thought of my parts as a Ferrari.

SGT Ted said...

Now that I am over 40, I prefer a female examiner with slender fingers.

But I usually get the ex-NBA player or dairyman.

*cough*

Ralph said...

I had a woman doctor do my first rectal in '85. I thought she was spacey, but she actually saved my life. She sent me to a dermatologist because I had so many moles, so I knew the warning signs when I got melanoma six years later.

Fen said...

As my wife (an RN) says about the male parts "after you see the first thousand or so it gets kinda routine."

I remember my first day working ER security for a hospital. Man came in unconscious, head nurse had to knead the man's penis to get it hard so she could insert the catheter.

From an outsider perspective, it looked like she was giving him a hand job, and I felt sorry for her loss of dignity [and his]. Geez was I naive.

Ralph said...

insert the catheter.
It never occurred to me before that inserting it in a soft one would be next to impossible. Remind me to knock myself unconscious if I ever need one.

Was it part of your job to watch, to see that he wasn't molested? This cop kept watching the ER doc and nurse pull a nail from my foot and scrub it raw--and I wasn't handcuffed, honest.

Tibore said...

"[Dr. Carla Pugh] often buys penises at adult “novelty” shops..."

You know, if you think about it, they can get all they need at the adult "novelty" shops...

Including the nurses outfits. ;)

Tibore said...

"I never thought of my parts as a Ferrari."

As long as your partner doesn't call it a Yugo, you're all still good. :D

------
She: "What, Tibore? A Ferrari? High maintenance, high speed, gets there too quick? Eff that, I'll go look for a pickup-truck..."

Me: :-(

Tibore said...

"... insert the catheter."

What? Your alter ego's got to be what to take a catheter??

Jesus... screw being unconscious, remind me to never go to the hospital!!!

theobromophile said...

Ann Althouse: I have certainly noticed a difference between a female and a male gynecologist. Males seem to be unnecessarily rough out of a need to demonstrate that it's purely professional. That's how I interpret it anyway.

Either that, or they don't quite understand how delicate that area is. I imagine that, after seeing the first few hundred babies delivered, they would be under the impression that women are made out of titanium.