If you're going to have a procedure where you're under anesthesia, particularly a gynecological one, know that some places allow several med students to use this opportunity to perform pelvic exams while you are unconscious. When you sign the consent form for surgery, apparently you agree to this.
This issue popped up about a decade ago when it was reported in a journal. People were - understandably - upset. One doctor was quoted as saying they didn't ask the women if it was ok if lots of strange people put their hand up their vagina and rectum and felt around because it's standard practice.
Here's a quote from the original article. Note this is from one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country. And pelvic exams were being done even on non-gyn patients.
- "Doing a pelvic exam in the operating room is standard pre-operative procedure," said Deborah Driscoll, who directs the ob-gyn rotation for Penn medical students. "We respect our patients and we really are very concerned about that [informed consent]. I don't think we abuse this procedure at all."
Despite the outcry, the practice seems to have continued. The link to this story is from Fox News, which I don't usually cite as credible, but I don't have any reason to believe it's false.
Does this happen everywhere with every surgery? No. Should you be aware of it and talk to your doctors and nurses if you or a woman you love is going into surgery and is not comfortable with this. YES.
Edited to add: Here's a first person XOJanestory about this.