JOURNAL ARTICLE

Positioning women's health curricula in US medical schools

Sarah K Keitt, Catherine Wagner, Cynthia Tong, Sherry A Marts
MedGenMed: Medscape General Medicine 2003 May 28, 5 (2): 40
14603139

PURPOSE: This survey was undertaken to evaluate the status of women's health curricula at US medical schools.

METHODS: The Society for Women's Health Research surveyed 125 US medical schools to gather information on the existence of and institutional funding and support for women's health curricula.

RESULTS: After a minimum of 2 reminder emails, 68 schools returned completed surveys for a positive response rate of 54.4%. Thirty (44%) schools responded that they currently offered a women's health curriculum; 12 (18%) schools stated that they had plans to develop one. Of the 42 schools that either offered a women's health curriculum or were planning one, two thirds (n = 28) reported having a designated office responsible for overseeing the curriculum; the Associate Dean of Medicine/Associate Dean of the Medical School was most frequently the person responsible for this office. Overall, more than half of the responding schools reported receiving funding for this office either through general medical school funds (15/28) or from a Dean's fund (9/28).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that while US medical schools have made great strides in training medical students in women's health, schools can do more to ensure that women's health has an "academic home" within their institutions. Further, efforts to secure adequate funding and train a cross-section of faculty in women's health should be increased.

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