Reproductive-aged female patients often seek medical visits for pelvic pain in various healthcare settings. Teaching physical exam skills is foundational in the medical education curriculum. However, there are few opportunities in many medical programs to reinforce these necessary examination skills before the beginning of clerkship experiences

To demonstrate effectiveness in one-on-one patient interactions, Assistant professors, Drs. Jennifer Pearson, Amy Greminger, Emily Onello, and Sandy Stover in the Department of Family Medicine & Biobehavioral Health recently published their collective teaching methods in MedEdPORTAL - the Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources, on the evaluation of female pelvic pain to elevate medical student exam skills and introduce transvaginal ultrasound.

By the end of the hands-on simulation, medical students were able to introduce the following: 

  • Demonstrate the ability to elicit a patient history given the presentation of female pelvic pain.
  • Demonstrate empathy for a patient suffering from a painful condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Assess a female patient with a targeted abdominal and pelvic exam through performance or observation.
  • Develop a differential diagnosis for the presenting history and physical findings.
  • Discuss the utility of transvaginal ultrasound in the evaluation of female pelvic pain.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pathophysiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, testing, diagnosis, management, reporting, and PID and tubo-ovarian abscess complications.
Faculty Members Emphasize Teaching the Evaluation of Female Pelvic Pain
Pearson J, Greminger A, Onello E, Stover S. Teaching the evaluation of female pelvic pain: a hands-on simulation to reinforce exam skills and introduce transvaginal ultrasound. MedEdPORTAL. 2021;17:11080.