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Feeling MedicineHow the Pelvic Exam Shapes Medical Training$
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Kelly Underman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479897780

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479897780.001.0001

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“What Does It Mean to Relax Your Hand?”

“What Does It Mean to Relax Your Hand?”

Learning to Feel with the Body in the Pelvic Exam

(p.141) 5 “What Does It Mean to Relax Your Hand?”
Feeling Medicine

Kelly Underman

NYU Press

Insofar as GTAs train medical students to become attuned to the sensations in their own bodies in order to examine the body of another, this process is particularly interesting in the context of teaching and learning the pelvic exam. There, objects of the medical students’ attention—cervix, ovaries, and uterus—are enclosed on the inside of the whole, fleshy body of another person, and learning to discern organs, healthy or diseased, relies on learning to “read” one’s own bodily sensations appropriately. This creates novel tensions and troubles thinking of the body in terms of subjects and objects, insides and outsides, parts and wholes.

Keywords:   Affect, Sensation, Embodiment, Medical student, Gynecological teaching associate, Clinic, Perception

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