In honor of C. S. Boyack’s extreme courage and bravery for posting his “Public Service Announcement” yesterday, I would like to again, with Mr. Boyack’s permission, pay homage to my first prostate….
“Alright, Mr. Smith. I am going to need to have you drop your drawers and bend over with your elbows on the table.” I was using my perky voice.
I placed a box of Kleenex down apologetically on the exam table in front of him.
“You are going to do what?” He stared incredulously at me. He was an older man with a receding hairline and an uncanny resemblance to my father.
“I am here to check your prostate.” I tried to maintain the perky tone even though my hands shook and my palms sweated as I pulled on the latex gloves.
“Like hell you are.” His voice was raised and I could detect a hint of distress. He stepped menacingly toward the door.
Taken aback, I stood up quickly getting out of his way.
The shadow lurking in the corner stepped forward.
“Mr. Smith, if you do not allow this exam, you will not get paid the $25…”
He looked at the shadow.
Then at me.
Then back to the shadow.
“Fine,” he growled. In no time, his pants were down around his ankles.
It was then that I felt my first prostate…
Special Note: Professional patients for prostate exams in medical school were pulled from a halfway house and not really informed upfront about what exactly they were going to have to endure. Sometimes as a patient, it feels like this and you face the decision to flee or see it out. Congrats to Mr. Boyack for seeing it through and coming back with good test results. High five!