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Why include gender in  your teaching?

The Medical Council of Canada, The College of Family Physicians of Canada and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada all believe that understanding gender is essential to clinical practice.

If we look at the LCME[3] Accreditation Standards from June 2004 and specifically objective ED-22, it is clear that gender is on the exam. 

Medical students must learn to recognize and appropriately address gender and cultural biases in themselves and others, and in the process of health care delivery. The objectives for clinical instruction should include student understanding of demographic influences on health care quality and effectiveness, such as racial and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The objectives should also address the need for self-awareness among students regarding any personal biases in their approach to health care delivery.

The Four Principles of Family Medicine speak to the responsibility of physicians to understand their patients in context and to work from the knowledge that the social context effects health and the CanMEDS 2005 roles can all be understood from a gender perspective. [1] Gender is a part of practicing medicine.

Students need to understand the social determinants of health and their own assumptions, biases and influences. This section is to help you to use the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum to do that. We want to help you, as medical teachers and academic faculty to incorporate gender into the teaching you already do.  The suggestions are from the Tutor Guide to the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum written by Dr. Susan Phillips, Queen’s University and Chair of the Gender Issues Committee of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine. [2]

To view the Tutor Guide in PDF format, click here.

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1. http://rcpsc.medical.org/canmeds/ accessed November 3, 2005

2. Tutor Guide to the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum written by Dr. Susan Phillips, Queen’s University and Chair of the Gender Issues Committee of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine.

3. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education is the recognized accreditation authority for medical schools in North America. The accreditation process ensures that medical schools meet established standards, and fosters the ongoing improvement of medical education.

All references for this section