Digital rectal examination and urethral catheterization by medical students: comparative study


  • Ismaeel Hama Ameen Aghaways Department of General Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Sulaimania, Sulaimania, Iraq



Medical students, small teaching group, traditional teaching group, DRE, urethral catheterization


Background and objective: To determine the difference of acquired skills of how to perform Digital Rectal Examination and Urethral Catheterization, by medical students of two groups. Group (A) large group (traditional teaching group) and Group (B) small teaching group

Methods: A questionnaire containing information related to digital rectal examination (DRE) and urethral catheterization was given to all year six medical students at College of Medicine, University of Sulaimanyia , in June 2004 and 2007, just before their fina examination. The questionnaire focused on the important points in relation to ways of teaching.

Results: Responses to all given questions in the questionnaire from the two groups were different, 54% of students from traditional teaching group responded as oppose to 53% from small group . Up to 93% of traditional teaching group student were taught how to perform Digital Rectal Examination, while approximately 80% of students from small teaching group have been taught to do DRE. Only 23% of those among traditional teaching group have done more than 3 DRE, while that of small teaching group was only 8%. In both groups, their findings were uncommonly checked by senior doctor. In both groups nearly 80% of the students had never felt a clinically malignant prostate and nearly the same for rectal tumor. Students from traditional teaching group, who did Digital Rectal Examination, 22% of them were not sure about their ability to give an opinion based on their clinical findings, while 33% of the small teaching groups were unable to give opinion. Nearly 73% in traditional reaching group have been taught how to perform male urethral catheterization, while that of small teaching group was 78%. In traditional teaching group, only 23% have performed 2 and less male urethral catheterization on qualification while 44% in small teaching group. 39% of small teaching group were not confident at all to do male urethral catheterization, while that of traditional teaching group was 27% only.

Conclusion: There was obvious similarity between the two groups regarding the lack of basic skill in conducting DRE, urethral catheterization. This was probably due lack of objectives in the teaching curriculum.


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How to Cite

Aghaways, I. H. A. (2013). Digital rectal examination and urethral catheterization by medical students: comparative study. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 17(3), 526–532.



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