It Could Have Been Worse. I Think.
I should preface this by saying that during our first year they tried to teach us how to do a complete physical exam, section by section, but it was a horrible disaster mostly because they would put us in big groups with no notes/instruction to fall back on, so basically there was no practicing done and no skills retained. Granted, I could also be talking about anything I did last year, but that's another story.
So anyways this new class involves me, three other classmates (a nice size of 4) and one instructor (an MD of some variety or another). We had our first full session today, and we were going to cover the head, neck, and chest exams. Things started off well. We all had to practice on each other with the various components of the exam. I had four people stick an otopthalmoscope (I think that's what it is called - basically it's the pointy thing with the penlight that they stick in your ear and nose) in my nose and poke around there, and had some fun because they were supposed to raise my nose a little and i made some snorting pig noises when one girl did it (oh I forgot to mention it's two guys and two girls in the group) that totally scared this shit out of her.
Anyways, things are going along smoothly until we have to do chest exam. Now this was first a problem because I have some awful body image issues and was less than thrilled with having to take my shirt off. But since I apparently had no choice whatsoever in the matter, I did it (along with the other guy who was obviously a lot less neurotic than me) and had everyone start percussing (tapping their fingers to listen for something wrong) my back. No problems, other than the fact that it was cold.
So then they switch over to do the front, and the other guy was the first demonstrator. We all percussed his chest and listened how the sound changed when you went from lung down to liver. Swell. My turn now, because after all the first guy did not get a chance to practice himself. He taps the top of my chest. Then moves down. Another. Again. Clunk. He notices that there is a sound change, but it is markedly different than the one we had heard before. That's odd, opined the doctor. He eagerly jumps forward and starts percussing me and hits the same odd noise change, culminating in the following revelation:
"Oh I know what that is. That's gas. DEFINITELY GAS!"
His voice elevates in sheer academic excitement.
"YES SEE YOU CAN HEAR IT - [PERCUSSES] - GAS!"
Suddenly, the blood rushes to my face as I recall the mounds and mounes of Baja Fresh that I ate the night before (damn you, enchilado style!), as well as the 7 layer burrito I ate at the Taco Bell stand during lunch. I could imagine the mounds of beans devilishly tracking their course down my intestines, reaking foul smelling havoc along the way.
If that wasn't bad enough, he follows this by:
"I think you all should try this and see what it feels like."
Allllllllllright. So it's bad enough that he announces this (the only saving grace being there are only 3 classmates here, so it's not THAT terrible), but a little common sense will lead any rational person to the conclusion that if one has established that there is gas in a patient's intestines, further fierce tapping of said gaseous intestine will result in pressure buildup and ultimate expulsion of gas. Perhap's they can start calling that the Fake Doctor Gas Motility Principle or something, put my name in a GI textbook, and hand me a Nobel Prize or something. Let's just say I had to use all the sphincter control I had built up over the course of going to a very special high school for three years (where going to the bathroom was reserved only for drug dealers, drug users, and new kids who didn't know about this situation and who subsequently got the shit kicked out of them the first time around before never going back again, holding the deuce ill they got home) in order to control the situation and hope that anything that got past my defense was simply an SBD (silent but deadly).
Now I realize this could have been much worse, but at the time it was pretty traumatic. Surely, nightmares of "Fart master" and "Gas Ass" written all over the board with my name on it will fill my evening hours.