Evaluating sex and gender competencies in the medical curriculum: A case study

Virginia M. Miller, Priscilla M. Flynn, Keith D. Lindor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Sex and gender differences exist in the manifestation and prevalence of many conditions and diseases. Yet many clinician training programs neglect to integrate this information across their curricula. Objective: This study aimed to measure the sex and gender medical knowledge of medical students enrolled in a program without an explicit directive to integrate sex and gender differences across a block system of core subjects. Methods: A forced-choice instrument consisting of 35 multiple-choice and true or false questions was adapted from an evaluation tool used in the European Curriculum in Gender Medicine held at Charité Hospital, Berlin, in September 2010. Results: Fourth-year (response rate 93%) and second-year (response rate 70%) students enrolled in Mayo Medical School completed the instrument. More than 50% of students in both classes indicated that topics related to sex and gender were covered in gynecology, cardiology, and pediatrics, and <20% of students indicated inclusion of such topics in nephrology, neurology, and orthopedics. More than twice as many second-year students indicated that topics dealing with sex and gender were included in immunology course material compared with fourth-year students. A consensus of written comments indicated that concepts of sex and gender-based medicine need to be embedded into existing curriculum, with an emphasis on clinically relevant information. Conclusions: Although this study represents only one medical school in the United States, information regarding sex and gender aspects of medicine is not consistently included in this curriculum without an explicit directive. These results can provide guidance for curriculum improvement to train future physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-186.e3
JournalGender Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Mayo Clinic
  • curriculum
  • gender differences
  • medical licensing
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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