The impact of sex and gender in health and disease: an elective


The impact of sex and gender in health and disease: an elective


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Historically, “women’s health” has referred to health issues relating strictly to reproduction. The last decade has witnessed an exponential increase in research and understanding of the important role biological sex and gender identity play in health and disease. Sex and gender based differences have been found in nearly every aspect of medicine: most well known among them are differences in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Much of what we know about pathophysiology and pharmacology is limited by research that has been and continues to be performed mainly in male models. The IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Sex and Gender elective provides an overview of sex and gender specific clinical medicine within a systems-based curriculum. The elective focuses on each body system, where the student explores sex-based differences in epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment, pharmacology, and outcomes as well as the role gender identity plays as a social determinant of disease. The overarching goal of the rotation is to integrate sex and gender-based evidence into existing curricula, both internal to and external to IUSM. By the end of the elective, the students contribute to the research and development of sex and gender educational tools that can be used to in our current educational programs and beyond. The student also participates in clinical programs with the IUNCOE Women's Wellness on Wheels program, attends clinical sessions in the IUHP Glendale primary care, and attends educational programs throughout the institution to help define best practices that incorporate sex and gender. Completed projects include slide sets created for the Laura Bush Institute for Sex and Gender, written articles on the impact of sex and gender on cardiovascular health, and completed research projects on diversity.

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Sex, Gender, Health Education

The impact of sex and gender in health and disease: an elective