Group of courses: Medicine and Health
The category of gender plays a central role in medical professions. Alongside biological differences ("sex"), sociocultural differences ("gender") also affect the pathogenesis of diseases and their perception. Furthermore, interaction and communication between health care professionals and patients cannot be considered detached from gender and the gender roles associated therewith. Thus, gender sensitivity is important for both diagnosis and medical care.
Medical education thus plays a key role in enabling students to recognise gender-specific differences and to use these findings in their medical work. In addition to imparting cognitive knowledge and gender competence, students should be made aware of their own gender role as well as existing gender stereotypes and their significance for professional practice. Upon completion of studies, students should be capable of reliably using the gender perspective as an important dimension of assessment and action in medical work and interdisciplinary communication.
Content should be planned in line with the Nationaler Kompetenzbasierter Lernzielkatalog Medizin (NKLM) (National Competency-based Learning Objective Catalogue for Medicine), a competence-based core curriculum with recommendations, which has been approved by all faculties of medicine in Germany and includes the following:
Based on the proceedings of a conference held at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, during which "Competences in gender-medical education" were developed in writing workshops, additions were made to the established gender-specific teaching content and competences:
Students of medicine should acquire knowledge and competence in the following areas, which must be specified for the individual disciplines:
1. Health and society (description of the role of medical staff and the health system in Germany)
2. Prevention (counselling)
3. Organ and body systems (principles of function)
4. Disease models (pathogenesis and diagnostics)
5. Gender-specific therapy (general, pharmacological, interventional)
6. Gender-neutral science/study planning and design
Core competences of professionals working in gender-medical education include:
It is generally necessary to establish gender-sensitive medicine as a cross-cutting issue, as gender-sensitive aspects play a role in all medical fields.
Standardised and validated teaching and learning objectives are a prerequisite for the systematic implementation of gender-sensitive content
The aim is the longitudinal integration of learning objectives into all teaching formats and subjects across all semesters with examinable content. For example, this has been realised in the model study course medicine at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. An intermediate step is the integration of gender-specific aspects as learning objectives and learning content in several courses (at six German medical faculties). The modular e-learning program "eGender" (http://egender.charite.de/de/) and the use of the now automated database "GenderMedDB" (http://gendermeddb.charite.de/) for teaching staff are helpful for the implementation of the learning objectives in a new curriculum. The Medical University of Innsbruck (coordination office), the Medical University of Vienna (Gender Medicine) and the Medical University of Graz (gender:unit) offer extensive experience and advice on the implementation of gender-medical teaching.
Time dimensions: clinical traineeship, elective period, continuing education
Depth dimensions: 1. Factual knowledge (What?), 2. Action and reasoning knowledge (How and why?), 3. Ability to perform (3a. Performance under supervision, 3b. Working independently). Step 3 has not yet been achieved.
It is important to ensure that these learning objectives are examinable. The most appropriate exam format for each learning objective should be sought.
Initiation of discussion processes at the university that lead to a reassessment of women's and gender research as an area of innovation as well as an important quality feature for medical education and care (e.g. systematic training of teaching staff in gender medicine and the establishment of professorships for women and gender research in medicine). Should a systematic implementation not yet be possible, it is advisable to set up lecture series and to invite experts from different disciplines to discussions in order to raise awareness for gender-sensitive content.
Gender-related content should be continuously integrated into medicine degrees, i.e. from the first to the last semester, varying according to subject and study level. For instance, it has proved practical to offer an introductory seminar on "Gender in Medicine" at the beginning of studies (e.g. at the Medical University of Vienna or Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin) to teach cognitive knowledge and sensitise students to gender-related issues and their own gender roles.