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Background: While evidence-based medicine (EBM) supports the incorporation of Sex- and Gender-based Medicine (SGBM) into patient care, a significant gap exists in its translation to current undergraduate medical education (UME). Several studies assessing medical student and resident physician knowledge regarding SGBM demonstrate suboptimal awareness, knowledge base, and clinical incorporation. There is urgent need to evaluate UME under a SGBM-focused lens, to emphasize the existing SGBM content, and to identify additional opportunities for inclusion.

Method: Lectures from two pre-clinical UME modules, ‘Cardiovascular’ (CV) and ‘Musculoskeletal/ Dermatology’ (MSK/Derm), at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine were subjected to a SGBM taskforce audit. Taskforce auditors were tasked with 1) assessing for pre-existing inclusion of SGBM as well as 2) opportunities for SGBM incorporation. Opportunities for inclusion were identified by a taskforce SGBM expert. Evidence-based SGBM material (e.g. slides) to fill the opportune gaps were subsequently created for module director consideration and ready incorporation. Post-audit follow-up of SGBM incorporation and uptake was completed for both modules.

Results: Sixty-four lectures in the MSK/Derm and 23 CV lectures were reviewed by the SGBM audit taskforce. Approximately a third (36%) of all sessions included an element of pre-existing SGBM material (35% of CV; 36% MSK/Derm). Fourteen CV-specific SGBM opportunities were identified, and correlative SGBM inclusive material, was given to the CV module directors; thirteen of these were incorporated (92.8%). Nine MSK/Derm-specific SGBM opportunities were identified with correlative SGBM-inclusive material provided; two (22%) of these were incorporated.

Conclusion: Inclusion of SGBM into medical school curriculum is important for comprehensive medical education and ultimately, for patient care. Identifying and collaborating on SGBM educational opportunities will be crucial for its timely uptake into the UME world. The creation of a dedicated taskforce which searches for inclusion opportunities across the curriculum is one approach to increase SGBM within UME.

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Sex, Gender, Medicine

Undergraduate Medical Education Sex- and Gender-based Education: An Institutional Audit and Integration Project