Lab tech students forced to perform vaginal probes on each other will get their day in court

Originally published at:


Interesting. My father in law tells me that when he was in med school, it was common that they were require to give prostate exams to each other. He said that, by that point, bodes were just bodies to them, and had lost any titillation, so it didn’t feel weird.

It does seem strange for medical students to be forced to be on the receiving ends of these exams, but on the other hand, would that make them more empathetic to their patients? Realizing that the wands were “uncomfortable,” would they be less likely to use them when there was no need? Or improve their bedside manner with them?

I’m reminded of the old age home where the chief decided that all her staff should be given sponge baths, and wear diapers for a day, starting with herself. The humiliation of the experience led to everyone agreeing to change practices away from what was considered normal there at the time (and still is, everywhere else), and improved residents’ happiness. Can’t find the story now, though.

(Edit: The school’s behavior, in this case, seems very ugly, completely irrespective of whether having students do such exams makes any pedagogical sense. And they should have used professional patients, like everywhere else does.)


sometimes the technician will huh?


The “males would perform it on females” part here is so so icky. Surely they could have at least had women matched with women?


I think your father-in-law may have been punk’d.


It’d still be equally icky.

At the end of the day, it’s something that can easily be considered a sexual act, implemented by force (not physically in this case, but still forced).


Eh, apparently it’s pretty common:

Looking at those and similar threads, some say most schools stopped doing that decades ago (when my FIL was in school), replacing it with model patients. Some say schools still do them. Some say only osteopathy medical schools do them. etc.

I guess the entire medical community could be engaged in hazing.

… For this specific case in the article, it does sound like most schools have moved to model patients for most of this stuff. So — potential pedagogical value of having an invasive procedure done to yourself for the sake of empathy aside — it sounds like this school should have known better.


Titillate: I don’t think that means what you think it means.

verb (used with object), titillated, titillating.
to excite or arouse agreeably:
to titillate the fancy.
Synonyms: rouse, tempt, tease.
to tickle; excite a tingling or itching sensation in, as by touching or stroking lightly.
Origin of titillate
1610-20; < Latin tītillātus, past participle of tītillāre to tickle; see -ate1
Related forms
titillation, noun
titillative, adjective
Can be confused
tantalizing, titillating.
titillate, titivate.

1610-20; < Latin tītillātus, past participle of tītillāre to tickle; see -ate1


Worth noting that Valencia College is most definitely NOT a medical school.


Or at least put the men together.

Look, you get your Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology your way, Florida will do it theirs.


I certainly think I do know what it means…


I can empathize that the whole affair sounds awkward, but IMO that their legal case is based upon it being unreasonable search by the government is just weird. My intuition suggests that there are might be more readily applicable ways to frame this.


Yeah but med school is different than a lab tech.

I dunno, this seems like something that one would use one of those anatomical dummies for.

Or how about a program where you offer free vaginal sonograms and pay the people like $20. Like you pay a model for art class? Is it a college town because I am guessing you would find takers for beer money.


Really? You think an internal ultrasound or prostate exam ‘excites or arouses agreeably’?


frauenfelder wrote:

Three students are taking Valencia College in Orlando because the institution required them to perform transvaginal (penetrative) ultrasound exams on each other.

I feel like there’s a “to court” missing somewhere in that sentence. But if not, then I applaud the students knowing what they want out of education.


Indeed, I mentioned it in my other comment that the vast majority of medical schools use professional patients now for that kind of thing. The tech school definitely should have. And then they behaved disgustingly to top it off.

Well, I certainly enjoy having a med school student’s finger up my bum.

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Take a look at that first sentence. might need some work

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Perhaps not the action, but rather the nudity involved?

People training to be doctors don’t necessarily have that professional bedside manner down pat from day one, ya know…


Perhaps they were difficult to come by once they found out the program chair did this…

“A footnote in the lawsuit states that Ball told one of the plaintiffs, during a probe, that she was ‘sexy’ and should have been an ‘escort girl.’”

Christ on a crutch! How is this Barbara Ball not being investigated for sexual harassment of her students, even in Florida?


I was going to mention that my wife’s experience at med school was similar. At the teaching hospital, there were always actual patients as volunteers, but the students practiced on each other, and family members, constantly. But here we are talking about lab tech students. I am not sure how much patient interaction they are expected to have. I don’t know much about lab techs. I have to assume that it is a less immersive experience than actual med school. I wonder if the people went into the program knowing that this sort of thing was expected?