Background: There is a paucity of research assessing the potential benefits of mannequin trainers when preparing students to interact with teaching associates. Purpose: The goal of this study was to better understand the effects of mannequin-based simulators on student comfort toward learning specific aspects of the clinical female pelvic exam. Methods: First-year medical students (N=344) were surveyed before and after a mannequin-basedsimulation curriculum to assess their comfort levels toward learning the female pelvic exam. Results: Causing harm was the top cause of student anxiety toward learning the pelvic exam. Although the mannequin-based simulation curriculum was effective in significantly increasing (p <.001) student comfort levels toward learning the pelvic exam, the majority of students progressed from being "very uncomfortable" with the exam to being "somewhat comfortable." Conclusion: We suggest that mannequin-based simulators be used prior to students' learning experience with pelvic exam teaching associates.
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