5 years of medical school is a long time indeed. However, I did not have much opportunity to perform a digital rectal examination. I think I probably have done less than 10 as a medical student. Don't misinterpret me, I do not fancy sticking my finger into a stranger's ass. However, I have never felt for an enlarged prostate gland. So if a prostate gland is enlarged, I would not know it is actually big (coz lack of experience). You get what I mean?
Yesterday, my colleagues and I sat down to have tea. One of my colleagues, who was on-call for the whole week, complained that she was asked to do 5 digital rectal examinations, one after another. There were nothing interesting to find on the examinations. However, this topic led to another subject. Palpating for the prostate gland in male patients with them on all fours.....
hmmm....normally, the patient would be lying on his side with his knees bent at 90 degrees. According to a different colleague, he was told that it is better for the patient to be on all fours during the digital rectal examination, as it enables the examiner to get a better feel for the prostate gland. I do not know how true this is, but a few of them actually admitted that they have heard of this before.
All of us burst into laughter. And as expected, my fellow guy colleagues starting developing their own wild imaginations. (Imagine walking into the examination room, with the patient on all 4's and a finger in the rectum??!) You get the idea...... Don't think anyone of us would fancy doing the examination in that position.