A longitudinal women's health curriculum: A multi-method, multiperspective needs assessment

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 10/2002; 187(3 Suppl):S12-4. DOI: 10.1067/mob.2002.127369
Source: PubMed


To define critical competencies in women's health for medical student education and to assess the degree to which they are taught.Study Design: A set of competencies in women's health was developed. A multi-method needs assessment was implemented.
Faculty and student evaluations revealed no major areas of disagreement but did identify major deficits in the basic sciences including the physiologic influence of estrogen on nongynecologic organ systems and of androgen on various organ systems, nutrition, and alternative medicine and the difference between the sexes in disease processes, presentation, and treatment. In the clinical years, there are important deficits in the teaching of diseases unique to women, limited attention to psychosocial aspects of women's health, and no cohesive teaching of a gender-specific approach to clinical evaluation.
In the medical school curriculum, gender's effect on disease is inadequately addressed. An integrated longitudinal approach to gender-specific medicine is needed.

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Available from: Laura Otto-Salaj, Apr 02, 2015
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    • "It is well established that the graduating medical practitioner must have knowledge and expertise in women’s health [1]. Whilst Competency Maps have been developed for specialist training [2], expected competencies have not been well defined for medical students. "
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    ABSTRACT: To address the need for women's health education by designing, implementing, and evaluating a self-study, web-based women's health curriculum. Cohort of students enrolled in the ambulatory portion of the medicine clerkship with comparison group of students who had not yet completed this rotation. Third- and fourth-year medical students on the required medicine clerkship (115 students completed the curriculum; 158 completed patient-related logs). Following an extensive needs assessment and formulation of competencies and objectives, we developed a web-based women's health curriculum completed during the ambulatory portion of the medicine clerkship. The modules were case based and included web links, references, and immediate feedback on posttesting. We discuss technical issues with implementation and maintenance. We evaluated this curriculum using anonymous questionnaires, open-ended narrative comments, online multiple-choice tests, and personal digital assistant (PDA) logs of patient-related discussions of women's health. Students completing the curriculum valued learning women's health, preferred this self-directed learning over lecture, scored highly on knowledge tests, and were involved in more and higher-level discussions of women's health with faculty (P<.001). We present a model for the systematic design of a web-based women's health curriculum as part of a medicine clerkship. The web-based instruction resolved barriers associated with limited curriculum time and faculty availability, provided an accessible and standard curriculum, and met the needs of adult learners (with their motivation to learn topics they value and apply this knowledge in their daily work). We hypothesize that our web-based curriculum spurred students to later discuss these topics with faculty. Web-based learning may be particularly suited for women's health because of its multidisciplinary nature and need for vertical integration throughout medical school curricula.
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