NCBI ROFL: For some reason, med students don't want to show their genitals in class.

By ncbi rofl | April 30, 2010 7:00 pm

2446536264_822f20b28cDon’t want to show fellow students my naughty bits: medical students’ anxieties about peer examination of intimate body regions at six schools across UK, Australasia and Far-East Asia.

“BACKGROUND: Although recent quantitative research suggests that medical students are reluctant to engage in peer physical examination (PPE) of intimate body regions, we do not know why. AIM: This article explores first-year medical students’ anxieties about PPE of intimate body regions at six schools. METHODS: Using the Examining Fellow Students (EFS) questionnaire, we collected qualitative data from students in five countries (UK; Australia; New Zealand; Japan; Hong Kong) between 2005 and 2007. RESULTS: Our framework analysis of 617 (78.7%) students’ qualitative comments yielded three themes: present and future benefits of PPE; possible barriers to PPE; and student stipulations for successful PPE. This article focuses on several sub-themes relating to students’ anxieties about PPE of intimate body regions and their associated sexual, gender, cultural and religious concerns. By exploring students’ euphemisms about intimate areas, our findings reveal further insights into the relationship between students’ anxieties, gender and culture. CONCLUSION: First-year students are anxious about examining intimate body regions, so a staged approach starting with manikins is recommended. Further qualitative research is needed employing interviews to explore in depth students’ anxieties about examinations of intimate body regions and how their views are shaped by interactions with peers, patients and doctors.”


Image: flickr/Okko Pyykkö

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  • Sal

    Haha – reminds me of my first year in med school, when I was “volunteered”, together with 4 other boys, to produce sperm for the physiology lab so that other students could look at fresh human sperm under the microscope.

    How odd that all five “voluteers” happened to miss that lab.

  • BillWhite36

    Looks to me like the guy in the picture just got an unexpected digital prostate exam!

  • ARJ

    I’ll show you mine if you show me yours FIRST (…AND, it’s smaller than mine).

  • Jockaira

    Why not require all classroom attendance to be without clothing…that should take care of the bashful ones. Additionally, it might impress upon medical students the necessity of meeting all situations without pretense or concern for non-medical circumstances.

    Instructors? Wear anything they want…let the students come to appreciate the feelings of patients.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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