Proctologists are one of the most misunderstood and underrated specialists in the medical game, and yet (according to Kramer) they’re the life of the party.
Their career path has taken them straight to the backside of humanity, where they occasionally have to “plumb the depths” to check for prostate issues such as cancer or polyps.
The unglamorous, yet totally necessary, prostate exam requires physical practice and patient feedback to master, but how is a proctologist supposed to gain experience when nobody in their right mind will volunteer to be their practice "dummy”?
Here's how Patrick works:
Patrick serves a dual purpose: personal and professional. Personally, he comes equipped with software that enables him to interact emotionally with the student and voice any concerns he has about the procedure. Dr. Benjamin Lok, one of the program’s designers, says the interpersonal relationship Patrick helps foster is invaluable from a practicing perspective. “This virtual human patient can talk to the learner, expresses fears and concerns about the prostate exam, and presents a realistic patient encounter,” Lok told Geekosystem.
The other purpose he serves is functional. Patrick is endowed with force sensors, which can alert the student when he or she is being too aggressive, and can report how thorough the student was in his or her examination.
“Consider this,” Lok said, “how would a medical student know if they are doing a good prostate exam? Currently it is impossible for the educator to gauge performance. This simulation provides performance, feedback, and an opportunity to learn and lower anxiety.”
-Via Dangerous Minds