Don't ask, don't tell: a change in medical student attitudes after obstetrics/gynecology clerkships toward seeking consent for pelvic examinations on an anesthetized patient.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:We explore whether the completion of an obstetrics/gynecology clerkship is associated with a decline in the importance that students place on seeking permission from the patient before conducting a pelvic examination while she is anesthetized. STUDY DESIGN:Students at five Philadelphia area medical schools (n = 401 students) were asked how important it would be for a patient to be told that a medical student will perform a pelvic examination while she is anesthetized. We examined associations between the completion of an obstetrics/gynecology clerkship and attitudes toward consent with the use of linear regression to adjust for gender and the total amount of clerkship experience. RESULTS:After the data were controlled for gender and the total number of clerkships that had been completed, we found that students who had completed an obstetrics/gynecology clerkship thought that consent was significantly less important than did those students who had not completed a clerkship (P =.01). CONCLUSION:To avoid this decline in attitudes toward seeking consent, clerkship directors should ensure that students perform examinations only after patients have given consent explicitly.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ubel, PA; Jepson, C; Silver-Isenstadt, A

Published Date

  • February 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 188 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 575 - 579

PubMed ID

  • 12592274

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12592274

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6868

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9378

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1067/mob.2003.85


  • eng