What do medical schools teach about women's health and gender differences?

Janet B Henrich, Catherine M Viscoli
Academic Medicine 2006, 81 (5): 476-82

PURPOSE: To examine the curricula of U.S. medical schools to assess the inclusion of women's health and gender-specific information and identify institutional characteristics associated with this content.

METHOD: Using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges' Curriculum Management and Information Tool (CurrMIT), in November 2003 to February 2004 the authors performed a curriculum search of schools that entered course/clerkships in CurrMIT to identify interdisciplinary women's health or gender-specific courses/clerkships. A subset of schools that entered comprehensive information in CurrMIT was searched for a specified list of women's health topics and or gender-specific content on any topic. Statistical analyses were performed to assess the relationship between frequency of topics and school characteristics.

RESULTS: The authors identified 95 schools that entered related courses/clerkships. Ten courses/clerkships at nine schools met criteria for an interdisciplinary women's health course/clerkship. In the subset of 60 schools with comprehensive CurrMIT information, 18 specified women's health topics were identified, as well as 24 topics on gender-specific content, for a total of 42 topics. The number of topics taught ranged from zero to 26 (mean = 11). More than 50% of these schools taught 11 of the 18 specified topics, while fewer than 30% included gender-specific topics. There was no association in bivariate analysis between the mean number of topics taught and schools' characteristics; however, a women's health program (p= .01) and female dean (p= .06) were positively associated in a regression model.

CONCLUSIONS: Few schools offer interdisciplinary women's health courses/clerkships or include gender-specific information in their curricula. A designated women's health program may increase this content in schools' curricula.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"