Urological Teaching Associates

The Urological Teaching Associate (UTA) Program is an innovative men's health program. Men from the community are trained to teach inguinal hernia, scrotal and prostate (including rectal) examinations to medical students. They teach whilst begin examined themselves and give students feedback on their technical and communication skills. This program has received an overwhelmingly positive response from students who appreciate e the opportunity to learn these examination skills in a supportive & encouraging environment with a real patient who can guide them and give constructive feedback.

About the Program

What is the UTA program?

The Urological Teaching Associate (UTA) program is aimed to prepare the students to be competent in performing a men's health examination. It is hoped that by training students how to perform these examinations competently and confidently they will be better prepared and better able to improve the health of their male patients.

The UTA program enables participants to:

  • Gain confidence in both the fine technical skills and the sensitive communication skills required to undertake sensitive male examinations and
  • Learn to perform hernia, scrotal and rectal examinations in a non-threatening environment with immediate feedback and guidance from a live experienced 'patient'
  • Maximise learning via a small group setting and standardised method of instruction.

Educational opportunities

The use of UTAs in the teaching of hernia, scrotal and prostate examinations provides an invaluable adjunct to other methods of instruction through:

  • Focus on normal anatomy in a non-threatening, non-time-pressured learning environment
  • Realism
  • Specialised knowledge of male pelvic anatomy
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Focus on communication skills and the doctor-patient relationship
  • Immediate, constructive, specific and behaviourally-based feedback from an experienced patient
  • Specialised teaching skills
  • Standardised learning experience
  • A reduction in the likelihood of ethical issues arising when using trained patients, particularly when dealing with highly emotionally charged or sensitive issues.

UTAs provide training to Victorian metropolitan medical students. UTAs participate in intensive, regular and ongoing training to ensure a quality program.

Click here to apply

Feedback from Participants

From Participants

" a great session, thanks guys"

" a very valuable exercise"

" an excellent session - very helpful and increased my confidence"

"I'm grateful this session has been introduced- it's been extremely helpful"

"This should be mandatory - I had no confidence before but I am now willing to examine in the clinic"

"Only forum where we can practice on conscious patients and get feedback"

"this is a fantastic learning opportunity and I hope this project will continue - taught in a good atmosphere"

"I feel very fortunate that I have been able to have this session - it should be instituted into the curriculum"

"A great program - very useful to have this opportunity and to get feedback"

"A big thank you - we would be privileged to have more of these"

"Excellent and essential experience"

"Great job - one of the best tutes of the semester"

From UTAs

" I feel that I am contributing to a worthwhile program"

"The students are very appreciative of the opportunity the tutorial gives them"


The Clinical Teaching Associate Program was established by Dr Christine Fairbank, from the Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne; in association with Jamie Kearsley, Prof Anthony Costello and Justin Peters and Susan Shedda from Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor Steve Trumble and Krista Minzenmay from the Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne.