Learning of Intimate Area Examination Amongst Pakistani Medical Students: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Study





Clinical Skills, Physical Examination, Medical students, Intimate Area Examination (IAE), Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Barriers, Undergraduate Training, Cross-Sectional Study, Patient Refusal, Gender Differences , Real Patients, Theoretical Training , Cultural Sensitivity, Supervision , Postgraduate Trainees, Clinical Experience , Pakistan


Background: Intimate area examination (IAE) is an integral part of clinical examination skills and must be mastered by medical students before they start their careers. This study explores the experiences of Pakistani medical students regarding learning of IAE, the associated barriers and their effects on students’ learning.

Methods: This cross-sectional study, based on a self-designed questionnaire, was conducted at two Pakistani medical colleges, which included final year students and postgraduate trainees.

Results: During their undergraduate training, 74.9% of the respondents had not conducted a female pelvic examination, 51.9% had not examined a female groin, 79.7% had not examined a female rectum, and 72.7% had not examined a male rectum. From the 65 postgraduate doctors, 48.4% reported that they were not prepared to perform an IAE at the start of their clinical career. Regarding barriers to IAE learning, more than half of the respondents felt that the opposite gender of the patient (64.7%) and patient’s refusal (63.1%) had a strong negative effect on IAE learning. A high percentage of respondents reports that they were not taught IAE during their undergraduate years. Among the currently used pedagogical techniques, 71.1% of the respondents opted for real patient-based learning, followed by clinical simulations (21.9%), and videos (7.0%). No one thought examination should be taught theoretically. A significant difference between male and female experience in IAE learning was also observed.

Conclusion: Learning of IAE remains unsatisfactory and poses a major challenge for the Pakistani Medical Students in the institutes included in this study.


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This illustration depicts a busy medical scene with various healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, engaged in different activities such as examining patients, discussing medical charts, and conducting lab tests. At the bottom, there are detailed illustrations of the female reproductive system, indicating a focus on gynecological or reproductive health.


2024-06-07 — Updated on 2024-07-09

How to Cite

Bakhtiari, M., Umar Farooq, R. M., Ijaz, M. T., Shahab, A., & Hameed Daula, M. I. (2024). Learning of Intimate Area Examination Amongst Pakistani Medical Students: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Study. International Journal of Medical Students, 12(2), 161–168. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijms.2024.2219

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