Pelvic exam volunteer makes pelvic exams less scary

Sex ed is a community cervix

Animal and flower-loving @aliciagauvin raises money and works with SHIP, a nonprofit that provides adults with pleasure-oriented sexual education, therapy, and training. She lets students practice their pelvic examination skills on her. Yup, you heard that right!

SHIP is one of only two organizations providing GTA training to medical and nursing students in New England. Since March 2020, SHIP has taught 250+ Nurse Practitioner students how to perform patient-centered and trauma-informed pelvic exams.

What’s Pelvic Exam Got To Do With It?

“I work with local medical and nursing schools as a Gynecological Teaching Associate (GTA). In other words, I use my body to teach medical and nursing students how to perform patient-centered and trauma-informed pelvic exams,” says Alicia.

Pelvic exams are an important part of gynecological health. They are commonly performed during pregnancy and routine physical exams to help pinpoint cervical changes and possible signs of STIs, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and early-stage cancers.

Improving Pelvic Exams With A Selfless Cervix Contribution  

Alicia allows medical and nursing students to practice on her so they can slide into the field with a patient-centered and trauma-informed approach. Yes, uncomfortable mishaps happen all the time, but Alicia makes womb for mistakes so they can be avoided on patients.

“For most of my students, I am the first conscious and consenting human on whom they have ever done a pelvic exam,” says Alicia.

We hope you and the rest of the Gynecological Teaching Associates enjoy the cervix lapel pins we sent your way, and thank you for volunteering your bodies in the name of science!