A Virtual Butt Could Better Train Medical Students for Prostate Exams

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Prostate exams are typically some of the most difficult for new doctors to perform in part because of the sensitive nature of the test, and partly because of the discomfort these tests may provide for both patient and doctor. However, prostate examinations are vital in detecting and preventing cancer in patients. In order to better prepare students for the real-life scenario of giving a prostate exam, researcher Benjamin Lok, with support from the National Science Foundation, has developed a virtual butt (seriously). The device interfaces with a computer to show a virtual patient, Patrick. The patient discusses his concerns and fears with the examiner before allowing the test to be performed. During the examination, the virtual butt detects pressure and at which points a patient might feel pain or discomfort. The test is currently being used by medical students at Drexel University and the University of Florida. Lok hopes that in the future this will become a standardized simulator used by all medical students in the same way CPR dummies are used today.

(Source: Geekosystem )

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