University of Pennsylvania Final Exam Requires Nursing Students to Ask Imaginary Patients Their Preferred Pronouns

Nurses — they (sometimes) provide tender loving care.

It makes sense, therefore, that they’ll need to be sensitive to pronouns.

Hence, the University of Pennsylvania’s trying to make sure.


According to instructions obtained by student publication The Statesman, a required nursing course’s final exam comes with a modern mandate.

In an integrated human anatomy class, students must ask their imaginary patient his/her/their/cos/ens/eirs/hirs/yos/zirs/ver preferred pronoun.

Here’s more from The Daily Wire:

For the final exam, students must submit a video-recording of themselves completing a full-body examination of an imaginary patient. The rubric tells students to begin their interaction “by stating full, preferred pronouns, and title.” They must ask the patient for their “preferred pronouns” as well.

If said student fails to pay proper pronoun respect, five points may be deducted from the 60-point test.

The Wire notes such pronoun instruction is common practice at nursing schools.

Moreover, it relays, “Another course syllabus titled ‘Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics’ declares that students who refer to patients by their preferred pronouns are showcasing ‘professionalism.'”

The pronoun revolution is upon us. Increasingly, everyone gets to choose an audible emoji particular to them/co/her/en/em/hir/him/yo/vis/zir.

As I covered March 8th, Georgetown Law School’s Student Bar Association recently asked its students to list their pronouns on LinkedIn, Zoom, and in their individual email signatures in support of their nonbinary peers.


An email explained the importance:

Students may be afraid to out themselves if they do not know their environment is supportive. When we all include our pronouns as part of our daily life, it normalizes the action of doing so. This five-minute gesture contributes towards a more welcoming and friendly community for all.

Back to the medical field, the Mayo Clinic upgraded its Dress and Decorum Policy this month to include faculty pronoun buttons.

Vice-Chair of Administration Jo Williamson hailed an adherence to values:

“At Mayo Clinic, our values and our commitment to the values are one of our biggest differentiators. They are what inspire and motivate our staff. By committing to using the correct pronouns, we are creating a space of respect and inclusion for all our patients, our staff and students.”

As for nurses, they typically have a fast, furious, and difficult job. In addition to making sure they don’t give you the wrong dosage, they’ll now need to remember which pronouns you like.

And that could be more of an exercise than one might assume: According to Harvard University, one’s pronouns can change daily.

Nonetheless — curiously — no matter how many people tell you how many pronouns, there is still only one pronoun a person can employ to directly refer to another: “you.” So if you tell me your pronoun is “he,” you‘re still “you” and never “he,” at any point when I address you to you.


Amid the revolution, it seems someone forgot to create any words that can be used when speaking words to the person to whom spoken words are so important.


But if you‘re a University of Pennsylvania nursing student, don’t miss the opportunity to ask about pronouns.

Otherwise, it’s five points off.

For you.



See more pieces from me:

Governor Matthew McConaughey? The Actor Says It Could Happen

Disney+ Removes ‘Peter Pan,’ ‘Dumbo,’ ‘The Aristocats’ and ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ From Kids’ Viewing, Adds Warning Labels for Adults

Professor Reveals List of America’s ‘Whitest Law Schools,’ Proposes an End to Testing to Eliminate ‘Excess Whiteness’

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