Original Publication
Open Access

The Papaya Workshop: Using the Papaya to Teach Intrauterine Gynecologic Procedures

Published: April 11, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9388

Included in this publication:

  • Papaya_Workshop_Appendix.docx
  • Papaya_Workshop_Facilitator_Guide.doc
  • Papaya_Workshop_Learner_Handout.docx
  • Papaya_Workshop_Overview_Instructor_Guide.docx

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: The papaya workshop is a fun, inexpensive, and easily replicable model to teach gynecologic intrauterine procedures to students or clinicians. The papaya is an excellent uterine model because it is the shape and size of a uterus, has a stem end that resembles a cervix, and has an interior texture similar to endometrium. The workshop can be used to teach anatomy, bimanual examination, intrauterine (IUD) placement, and uterine aspiration, as well as relevant clinical points associated with these skills. Methods: The papaya workshop can be carried out in a 1-hour session with one trained facilitator. The session can be extended to 90 minutes to allow for more in-depth discussion of anatomy and practice of the techniques. The workshop can be taught to groups as large as 30 learners. The facilitator guide includes step-by-step instructions for leading a group of learners through the papaya workshop. The learner handout document allows learners to follow along and can be distributed at the start of the session. The visual aids in the appendix and the optional training video are intended to familiarize a trainer with the workshop prior to facilitating a group. Results: In 2005, an evaluation of the workshop was carried out among third-year medical students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine, for whom the papaya workshop is a routine part of their curriculum. We surveyed students before and after the workshop, and again at the end of the month-long rotation to measure any changes in their knowledge and comfort with IUD insertion and uterine aspiration. An overwhelming majority of students (90%) highly valued the workshop. Statistically significant increases were observed in knowledge, in confidence with counseling patients about intrauterine procedures, and in comfort performing the procedures that persisted to the end of the clerkship rotation. This workshop has remained a routine component of the third-year students’ curriculum since 2003, so that at UCSF alone more than 1,000 students have completed the workshop. Discussion: The workshop can be used to teach anatomy, bimanual examination, (IUD) placement and uterine aspiration, as well as relevant clinical points associated with these skills. This workshop has been taught in clinical and preclinical settings by faculty at UCSF and elsewhere, to medical students, advanced-practice clinicians, and physicians, in many countries including Vietnam and South Africa. Hundreds of clinicians have been trained to complete, and to teach, the workshop.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Model a perfect bimanual examination.
  2. List the risks of instrumenting a uterus.
  3. Do a paracervical block, endometrial biopsy, and IUD insertion on a papaya.
  4. List the contraindications to IUDs for contraception.
  5. Aspirate and curette a papaya.

Author Information

  • Jody Steinauer, MD, MAS: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • Felisa Preskill, MPP: University of California, San Francisco
  • Sangita Devaskar: University of California, San Francisco
  • Uta Landy, PhD: University of California, San Francisco
  • Phillip Darney, MD, MSc: University of California, San Francisco

None to report.

None to report. 

Prior Presentations
Problem Based-Learning Discussion: “How to Write and Moderate a great PBLD”. International Assembly of Pediatric Anesthesia, Washington DC, 2012.


Steinauer J, Preskill F, Devaskar S, Landy U, Darney P. The papaya workshop: using the papaya to teach intrauterine gynecologic procedures. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9388. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9388