Medical students' assessment of education and training in women's health and in sex and gender differences

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Jun;17(5):815-27. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0589.


Background: The authors surveyed U.S. medical students to learn their perceptions of the adequacy of women's health and sex/gender-specific teaching and of their preparedness to care for female patients.

Methods: Between September 2004 and June 2005, third and fourth year students at the 125 allopathic medical schools received an online survey conducted by the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). Students rated the extent to which 44 topics were included in curricula from 1 to 4 (1 = no coverage, 4 = in-depth coverage) and their preparedness to perform 27 clinical skills (1 = no preparation, 4 = thorough preparation).

Results: From 101 of the 125 schools, 1267 students responded (mean number of respondents/school = 13, SD 12). The mean curriculum rating (2.53, SD 0.52) indicated brief to moderate coverage of topics. The mean preparedness rating was higher (3.09, SD 0.44), indicating moderate preparedness. In a regression model, female student sex and site of an AMWA chapter were associated with lower mean combined curriculum and preparedness ratings (female 2.76, male 3.01, p < 0.001; AMWA 2.77, non-AMWA 2.89, p < 0.001), whereas other school characteristics (female dean, federally funded women's health program, and proportion of tenured women faculty) had no association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Clerkship / statistics & numerical data*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Curriculum / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching Materials
  • United States
  • Women's Health*