The original goals of this project were to:
improve women’s and men’s health care through the development of a collaborative, web-enabled medical curriculum that integrates gender and health into all aspects of medical education
develop a common provincial resource for use by all Ontario medical schools.
"A gender approach in health, while not excluding the biological factors, considers the critical roles that social and cultural factors and power relations between women and men play in promoting and protecting or impeding health." World Health Organization, 1998
The Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum Project (GHCCP) is occurring at a time when medical schools, in Canada and internationally, are recognizing their responsibility to graduate physicians who can meet the needs of all members of society. The subject area of our project challenges educators and students alike to understand gender as a social determinant of health and an equity issue. Gender and Health is about concepts and approaches and understanding that who we are shapes the work we do. Creating educational materials and learning opportunities for this is transformational and demands cultural change in medicine.
In addition to creating learning resources, the project team has focused on identifying the strategies and tools best suited to curriculum development, particularly for a team separated by great distance. We expect these tools to be useful to other individuals and organizations interested in developing online resources, no matter the focus, and have sought opportunties to collaborate with others around this.
One of the fundamental goals of this collaborative curriculum project has been to produce a resource that is relevant and widely available to undergraduate medical students, and to that end the project delivers not only the stand-alone online learning modules that focus on gender in specific domains of medical education, but also a repository of knowledge objects from which these modules are built. This repository will allow educators to pick and choose the resources they would like to present to students or integrate into existing curriculum. This drives our ongoing committment to working with the keepers of existing provincial and national repositories to produce high-quality content which is shareable, interoperable and easily repurposed.
The project team has worked to create materials and learning opportunities to help medical students understand the link between gender and health. After working through these modules the learner will be able to:
recognize the difference between sex and gender;
explain how gender is constructed, maintained and reinforces the implications for health;
describe how gender based inequities in access to education, economic resources and power relate to health;
recognize gender bias in research design, implementation and analysis;
identify and address gender inequity in policies and programmes;
practice with an understanding of the social determinants of health and that gender is a social determinant of health and an equity issue;
work as positive agents of change.