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Gender Aspects in Medical Education Project

Promoting the incorporation of gender issues into medical education

Based on the gender mainstreaming objectives of the European Commission the project "Gender Aspects in Medical Education" addresses the integration of gender concerns into medical education. Its main aim is to demonstrate the potential value of gender studies for improving both the process and the substantive content of medical education across the European member states. The promotion of gender studies in medical education will involve the following elements:

  • Conceptual clarification of the distinction between biological sex and social gender

  • Incorporation of insights on gender and health from social sciences and health promotion literature

  • Further development of biomedical research on sex differences outside the arena of reproductive functioning

  • Development of sex/gender sensitive curricula for different stages of medical education

The project is terminated for two years(October 2001 - September 2003) and funded by the European Commission, 5th Framework Programme, Women and Science.

To facilitate the achievement of these aims a literature review will be carried out by our co-operating partner at the University of Bristol, School for Policy, covering both EU states and other countries with relevant experience. The output from literature review will be a bibliography and list of resources to be used by medical schools in developing gender sensitive curricula. A good practice audit will also be undertaken to identify those medical schools in the EU and elsewhere which have already developed relevant initiatives.

At the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH, Germany) a demonstration project will be undertaken. It has begun with a national survey of perceived needs followed by the development of a local plan for integrating sex and gender into courses, seminars and electives wherever relevant. This process will be evaluated and the lesson learned will be made available to those undergoing similar processes across the EU. The creation of a data base and website is a major part of the work carried out in Hanover.

Topics concerning gender aspects in medical education:

  • Social theory research on women’s/gender studies

  • Body oriented research (sex based biology, anatomy)

  • Male and female language

  • Medical terminology

  • Natural sciences and the construction of gender

As well as the technical aspects of setting up the system this process will also involve the creation of a network of individuals and groups relevant to the project. This includes contacts in international organisations such as WHO in both Copenhagen and Geneva, as well as national and local groups in different European countries. Close contact is held with the  medical faculty of the university of Vienna, which has already established gender studies into the medical education programme and curricula.


International Workshop -  The hidden sex: consciousness, contradictions and challenges in medical education

International Workshop (Languages: German/English)

The hidden sex: consciousness, contradictions and challenges in medical education

December 16th 2002

Hannover, Germany

Registration: 8:00 - 9:00

09:00 - 9:45 Opening Ceremony

Gender mainstreaming as a challenge for medical educational programmes

- D. Gillissen, EU-Office

- Dt. Ärztinnenbund, NN

- M. Robin-Winn, Women’s representative of the MHH

9:45 - 11:15 Section I

Plenary Presentations

&bull  The EU-Project “Gender Aspects in Medical Education“

Doyal/ Lohff /Voß

&bull  Incorporating gender issues into medical education at medical schools,

Anita Rieder

&bull Transfer of Knowledge: Gender and health aspects at the International Women’s University in Hannover, Ayla Neusel

11:15 - 11:30 Break

11:30 - 13.30 Section II - Working Groups

Part 1: From exclusion to success - “trouble shooting“ the gender blindness (Chair: Neitzke/Neusel)

&bull  The international view on gender, health and medical education, (Shayna Watson, Faculties of Medicine Ontario, Canada)

&bull  Doing gender by language –  gender bias and differences in medical communication  Konstanze Plett(Uni Bremen)/Elisabeth Zemp (Uni Basel)

&bull  Sex and gender aspects in heart diseases Anita Rieder( Uni Wien)

&bull  Anatomy and sex/gender sensitivity in medical education Heike Nave (MHH)

&bull  Domestic violence and social competence of medical professions, Brigite Lohff/Angelika Voß (MHH)

&bull  Evidence based medicine focussing  the gender perspective, Lea den Broeder (Utrecht)  inquired

13:30 - 15.00 Lunch

15:00 - 16:45 Working Groups - Part II: Parallel Sessions (topics see Part I)

Comprehensive methods to incorporate gender aspects into medical education - problems of realisation - goals - barriers - progress

16:45 -17:00 Short Break

17:00 - 18:30 Plenary Session: How to get “it“ across...

Location: Leibnizhaus, Holzmarkt 5, 30159 Hannover, Germany

Conference Fee: EUR 35,--

Contact: Hannover Medical School, Dept. of History, Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, D-30625 Hannover, Phone: 0049(0)511/532-4273 or – 4278 (secretary)