Successfully sustaining sex and gender issues in undergraduate medical education: a case study
SourceAdvances in Health Sciences Education, 22, 5, (2017), pp. 1057-1070
Article / Letter to editor
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Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum
Primary and Community Care
Advances in Health Sciences Education
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Although several projects have addressed the importance of gender health issues in medical education, the sustainability of change efforts in medical education has rarely been addressed. Understanding the possible facilitators or barriers to sustainability may help to develop future interventions that are effective in maintaining gender health issues as a topic in medical curricula. The aim of this study is to provide a longitudinal evaluation of changes regarding gender health issues that occurred in the past decade and the factors that influenced this process. The coursebooks of eight theoretical courses of the Nijmegen medical curriculum were screened on the basis of criteria for an integrated gender perspective in medical education. To assess the sustainability of gender health issues, the screening results from 2014 were compared with those of a similar project in 2005. In addition, open interviews were conducted with eight coordinators to identify facilitators and barriers influencing the sustainability of gender health issues. Analysis showed that, over the past decade, the implementation of gender health issues was mainly sustained and additional changes were made, resulting in an ongoing gender perspective in the Nijmegen medical curriculum. The coordinators mentioned several factors that influenced the sustainability of implementation in medical education: coordinators' and teachers' gender-sensitive attitude, competing demands, the presence of sex and gender in learning objectives, examinations and evaluation, organizational support and curriculum revisions. Our findings suggest that, in implementing sex and gender in medical education, medical faculties need to focus on top-down support in incorporating sex and gender into core objectives and time spent on incorporating sex and gender into medicine, and on the continuous training of teaching staff.
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