Views & Reviews
Soon I will be a qualified doctor, expected to perform gynaecological examinations. Despite developing an early interest in obstetrics and gynaecology and opting for voluntary placements in this discipline to expand my practical skills, I have never been allowed to perform one of the most important procedures, a pelvic examination. Doctors keen to protect their ethical integrity often argue that privacy would be compromised if they permitted students to carry out this investigation. But is preserving the privacy of today's patients' worth inadequate training of tomorrow's doctors?
Media focus on intimate examinations tends to concentrate on patients rights.1 This is understandable when you read reports of scandalous procedures in which, for instance, gynaecological examinations have been performed on anaesthetised patients without their informed consent.23 Although such occurrences cannot be tolerated and should be revealed, we must not, out of fear of being labelled ethically outlandish, avoid also discussing the rights