Advanced search expect a 3rd year NHS GUM student to know what a Canestan pessary is?

(62 Posts)
LividofLondon Sun 28-Dec-14 09:58:19

Seriously, she didn't know what I was talking about which I thought was piss poor considering it's a well known (and well advertised), widely available product used to treat a very common genital problem. Then when I explained to the GUM doctor who was supervising her that I had vaginal soreness brought on by sex, like a graze up there, he seemed to think I meant soreness as in tenderness/bruising and poked and prodded me inside to try and find the bruised patch. He was even talking about possibly doing a scan to find the problemconfused. In the end he couldn't see anything wrong and gave me a thrush pill to take orally just in case I had that. It turned out that quite simply I suffer from vaginal dryness and sex was making my skin sore (think friction burn inside), which was causing thrush-like symptoms. Thank you Google, MN and Replens.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Dec-14 09:59:58

Maybe it was her first week in the gum clinic? She's hardly going to spend her entire three years of training just in the gum clinic.

She might have spent the previous two years on care of the elderly and orthopaedic clinics.

jigglywiggly Sun 28-Dec-14 10:10:05

We have student nurses where I work (GUM clinic) and most of them have never worked in a clinic like that before. They do rotations so she may only be there for a week and that may have been her first day. Also the Dr sounds like he was just exploring all possibilities. Nothing wrong with that surely?

jigglywiggly Sun 28-Dec-14 10:11:32

And if you said 'like a graze' he may have thought 'heroes' and wanted to rule it out

jigglywiggly Sun 28-Dec-14 10:12:19

Ha! NOT 'heroes' but Herpes. Bloody phone.....

LividofLondon Sun 28-Dec-14 10:21:18

I did wonder that Viva and Jiggly, but to not have heard of Canestan? Or know what a "pessary" was? Really? I was shocked to be honest, especially as when I asked her she said she wanted to be a GUM doctor. A few minutes on the NHS website would've given her a lot of really relevant info about all manner of common GUM issues she would probably encounter in her first week (probably even her first day) in a GUM clinic.

LOL at "heroes" Jiggly. Yup, the Dr was just checking I didn't have a chocolate stuck up my chuff grin

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 10:27:28

I wondered what you had been doing with chocolate too!

Was it a nurse or Doctor? trainee Doc or medical student?

Piss poor for a female Doc if it was one but dare I say GUM probably doesn't attract the creme de la creme!!

Was their a language barrier?

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 10:27:46


Senigallia Sun 28-Dec-14 10:35:01

If it was a medical student then time in a GUM clinic is likely to be very limited. I spent a grand total of two morning in GUM clinics whilst training, one male, one female. That was it.

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 10:39:12

Was the student a student nurse or a doctor?

I can't speak for student nurses but student doctors spent some time learning what is 'normal' before they learn what is 'abnormal'. It may have been their first week on the ward and probably their first placement on a GUM/gynae based thing in entire medical school (the first clinical attachments are medicine/surgery based).

Students are there to learn, they don't know everything straight away and wouldn't be looking on NHS websites to learn. They'd be looking in their textbooks and I bet if they have said a clotrimazole pessary they may have understood. (Clotrimazole is the name of the active antifungal ingredient in Canestan).

"Piss poor" ? YABVU and quite nasty actually. Have you ever thought the poor student might just simply have been nervous? Placements always made me nervous at first, you don't know the staff properly so you're scared in case the senior staff are those who teach by humiliation, etc. I remember forgetting loads of answers to straight forward questions due to nerves back in the day.

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 10:41:05

clarinet it was a student not a doctor. And why would their gender be important there? So it would be acceptable for a male doctor to not know about canestan?

LividofLondon Sun 28-Dec-14 10:46:17

Sorry, Clarinet this was a couple of months back (taken me a while to pluck up the courage to start an AIBU on it!) so not 100% sure, but I think she said she was a 3rd year medical student (rather than a 3rd year trainee doctor - I'm assuming there's a big difference?confused) aiming to be a GUM doctor.

She took the initial consultation, just me and her in the room. I said I was prone to thrush, that a previous GUM doctor had suggested I use a pessary each month as a preventative measure, and although I wasn't keen to do that I had been self medicating with Canestan when I thought I had thrush. But that I was now keen to discover the underlying problem so wanted it to be investigated by an expert again. There didn't appear to be any language barrier. Once she'd taken her notes the male Dr did the consultation again with her, then the physical exam.

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 10:47:42

No not at all (re male Doc)
Unacceptable (IMHO) for a 3rd practising Doc to not know what a canestan pessary is, not the same for a 3rd year male medical student not the same if said 3rd year student has a language barrier too. Just my opinion you don't have to agree or like it.

I have heard trainee Docs refer to themselves as students before on more than one occasion.

MammaTJ Sun 28-Dec-14 10:49:17

I am a student nurse and am glad my patients have been more understanding than you!

We all have to learn somehow. I have even learnt loads by asking patients about their own experiences of their conditions.

I am quite surprised by a junior doctor not knowing what a pessary is though!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Dec-14 10:49:54

Oh a med student, I thought you meant a nursing student.

I would have thought she should have known what a pessary was even if she'd never heard of canasten. Don't know when med students actually start doing placements but wouldn't suprise me if the first couple of years are all lectures, exams, etc. so beginning of her third year it could have been one of her first ever placements.

And I bet she doesn't really want to be a GUM dr, she's saying that to be polite in front of the staff there.

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 10:54:06

Well clarinet OP has said it was a medical student. Trainee doctors are medical students, same thing.

A '3rd year' doctor is a massive difference to a 3rd year student. And they wouldn't say they were trainee doctors as they would be qualified by then.

Poor student. There to learn and being slagged off for not knowing everything yet!

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 10:54:16

I would hope there is a difference (ha ha!!)

Maybe less so in some cases (eek catty comment!! we need a little pussy emoticon)

VivaLeBeaver Sun 28-Dec-14 10:55:03

Just looked at our local uni and clinical placements don't start till third year. First two years is all lectures on anatomy.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Sun 28-Dec-14 10:56:50

It depends onthe medical school. But at lots of med schools, years 1 and 2 are pre-clinical.

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 10:57:01

did you see what I just did

(no where in the OP does it say medical student unless I have missed it)

I have heard med students and trainee Docs describe themselves in all sorts of ways!

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 10:59:51

There is a world of difference between a trainee doctor and a junior doctor as well.

I think the problem is the titles of the medical hierarchy can be confusing.

So in this case she was a medical student, still in university. Probably around 20-21 years old. Not qualified to practice. LEARNING the job.

A junior doctor is a qualified doctor and encompasses the 1-5 years post qualifications (if some people could the CT/ST years as junior doctor years). In my area junior doctors are the first 2 years.

But dya know what, even as a junior doctor you're still learning. If a doctor claims they know everything then they are the dangerous ones.

I bet you were one of her first patients on her placement and she was terrified. Poor girl.

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 11:01:32

Nowhere in the OP does she say medical student. Yes that is true, but she says it further down clarinet RTFT.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Sun 28-Dec-14 11:01:40

It mentions 3rd year student in the title. It can only mean medical student as doctors' training only lasts two years after med school: Foundationg Year 1 and Foundation Year 2.

Clarinet9 Sun 28-Dec-14 11:02:18

I don't think the OP has in any way shown a lack of 'understanding' to the student.
I also think we should remember the primary reason she was there.

Pishedorf Sun 28-Dec-14 11:03:15

Oh and trainee doctor does not equal junior doctor.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: