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Sensitive Exam Policy

Purpose

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to providing a safe, comfortable, and considerate environment for patients.  

Policy

In all clinical settings, an MSUCOM student may only perform a sensitive examination, treatment, or procedure if a chaperone is present.   

Definitions

Sensitive examinations of patients age 3 and below:   the patient’s parent or caregiver may serve as chaperone for a sensitive examination performed by the student, such as examination of the perineum of an infant, as part of the physical examination.  The student is expected to explain the reason for and steps of the examination to the parent or caregiver.  Alternatively, a clinical staff member or supervising physician or their designee (e.g. nurse practitioner, physician assistant, resident physician) will be present.

Sensitive examinations of patients age 4 and above:  a clinical staff member or supervising physician or their designee (e.g. nurse practitioner, physician assistant, resident physician) will be present for a sensitive examination performed by the student.

Treatments or procedures involving sensitive areas:  the supervising physician or their designee (e.g. nurse practitioner, physician assistant, resident physician) will be present for any treatment or procedure performed by the student per the MSUCOM Medical Student Supervision Policy, regardless of the age of the patient.

Sensitive Examination, treatment, procedure – those that occur with the patient, whether disrobed, partially disrobed or in street clothing, involving the breasts, genitalia, or rectum.  Examples include breast exams, procedures of the pelvic floor or urogenital diaphragm, vaginal or rectal exams.

Process

Prior to performing any sensitive examination, treatment or procedure, the MSUCOM student must discuss the case with the attending physician (or supervisors designee-ex. NP, PA, Resident physician) and obtain appropriate consent.

Discussions must include clinic/hospital policies governing chaperones and the MSUCOM Medical Student Clinical Chaperone Policy.  The student must be in compliance with both the MSUCOM Chaperone Policy and the clinic/hospital policy where the rotation occurs.

In the event the chaperone, for any reason, is not present for a student sensitive examination, treatment or procedure, the student will not be permitted to perform the exam, treatment or procedure.

Approved by the Faculty of the Department of PA Medicine on March 16, 2020