28 Harv. J.L. & Gender 285 (2005)
Eyes Wide Shut: Erasing Women's Experiences from the Clinic to the Courtroom

handle is hein.journals/hwlj28 and id is 291 raw text is: EYES WIDE SHUT:
ERASING WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES
FROM THE CLINIC TO THE COURTROOM
ELLEN WALDMAN*
MARYBETH HERALD**
I. INTRODUCTION
Approximately one year ago, an article published in the American
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology lifted the drape on a clandestine
training ritual in the culture of medicine.' A survey of medical student
attitudes about the need to secure consent before performing pelvic exams
on anesthetized women revealed a paradoxical finding: students who had
completed an obstetric/gynecology (OB-GYN) clerkship were more cavalier
about the need to secure consent than those who had not yet begun to
train with OB-GYN doctors in the trenches.2 The move from sterile book
learning to on-the-job training blunted, rather than sharpened, student sensi-
tivity to women's dignitary interests. Textbook exhortations con-flicting with
professional norms were abandoned-and the results were not pretty.3 Al-
Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Thanks go out to a number of
people. Our hardworking and ever-cheerful research assistants, Stephanie Martin and Meghan
Hanson, proved to be clutch-players, even making late-night runs to the library to meet
last-minute deadlines. Dorothy Hampton, our friend in the library, kept up with our unend-
ing requests for interlibrary loans, and Dr. Lawrence Schneiderman of the University of
California San Diego gave us a candid and extremely helpful early first read. We would also
like to thank Brianne Suska and the entire staff of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender,
who were superb partners at every step of this process. Additionally, we received financial
support from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Most of all, we thank our departing
dean, Kenneth Vandevelde, for inspiring us with his enthusiasm for all things inquiring and
creative. In ten years his work to create a vibrant and compassionate intellectual commu-
nity has been unceasing. He leaves us a great gift, and we dedicate our work here-and in
the classroom-to him, in gratitude.
See Peter A. Ubel et al., Don't Ask, Don't Tell: A Change in Medical Student Attitudes
After Obstetrics/Gynecology Clerkships Toward Seeking Consent for Pelvic Examinations
on an Anesthetized Patient, 188 AM. J. OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY 575, 577 (2003). See
generally Robin F Wilson, Unauthorized Practice: Teaching Pelvic Examination on Women
Under Anesthesia, 58 J. AM. MED. WOMEN'S Ass'N 217 (2003) (reporting findings from a
survey of medical students concerning the frequency at which students at various levels in
their training perform unauthorized exams).
2 Ubel et al., supra note 1, at 577 (noting that students who had completed an obstet-
rics/gynecology clerkship felt that consent for pelvic examination on an anesthetized pa-
tient was less important than did other students.).
I See id. at 578 (noting that [w]hat is actually conveyed to students at the bedside and

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