The Evolution of Gender Specific Medicine Education: a historical overview


The Evolution of Gender Specific Medicine Education: a historical overview


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Background: Recognizing the lack of uniform reproductive health education inmedical schools, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) founded theReproductive Health Initiative (RHI) in 1993.

Outcomes: In 1996, the RHI ModelCurriculum was unveiled. In 2004, AMWA presented results indicating that theCurriculum was used in about half of all U.S. medical schools (students/residents)and in 24 countries.

Historical Factors: In 2001, the Institute of Medicine publishedits report, Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does SexMatter? arming that “every cell has a sex”! In 2004, the Principles of GenderSpecic Medicine were published and dened gender specic medicine as “how biological sex and the sociocultural aspects of gender aect health and illness for women and men”. In 2005 the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health partnered with the Association of American Medical Colleges to align medical schooleducation content and learning objectives. Medical schools began using the modelcurriculum outside of reproductive health education. In 2008, the ndings of asurvey of medical students was released and revealed that students perceived thattopics related to sex and gender dierences had only brief to moderate coverage. Similar results exist across the health professions in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry. In 2015, the NIH announced that sex as a biological variable would be factored intoresearch designs, analyses and reporting.

Current Directions: In 2006, AMWAestablished the Women’s Health Working Group. Building on the work outlinedabove, interprofessional educational eorts were developed based oncompetencies that integrated social determinants, lifespan and culture.

FutureDirections: In 2016, the first Sex and Gender Health Education Summit was hosted by the Mayo Clinic; in 2018, by the University of Utah Health, and in September 2020 by Thomas Jefferson University with an interprofessional focus.

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sex and gender health, history of medicine

The Evolution of Gender Specific Medicine Education: a historical overview