A Novel Curriculum Assessment Tool, Based on AAMC Competencies, to Improve Medical Education About Sexual and Gender Minority Populations

Acad Med. 2022 Apr 1;97(4):524-528. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004203.


Problem: Medical education aspires to mitigate bias in future professionals by providing robust curricula that include perspectives of and practices for caring for sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations; however, implementation of these ideals remains challenging. Medical school leaders motivated to improve curricula on caring for SGM populations must survey their school's current curricula to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published 30 SGM competencies that curricula should address. Here the authors describe the development of a tool to efficiently assess whether an undergraduate medical education (UME) curriculum adequately incorporates the AAMC-recommended SGM competencies.

Approach: In 2018, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) convened a group of faculty and students with experience and expertise regarding SGM health. The group distilled the 30 AAMC competencies into 12 SGM topic areas that should be addressed in any UME curriculum, and they developed a curriculum assessment tool to evaluate the presence and timing of these topic areas in the BUSM curriculum. This tool was distributed to all course and clerkship directors responsible for the required UME curriculum at BUSM to investigate where these topic areas are addressed (May-June 2019).

Outcomes: The curriculum assessment tool identified several strengths in the preclerkship and clerkship curricula, including faculty willingness and enthusiasm to include SGM content. The assessment tool also revealed that some SGM topic areas are underrepresented in the BUSM curriculum, particularly during clerkships.

Next steps: The curriculum assessment tool described here is a straightforward, standardized instrument to map SGM topic areas within any UME curriculum. It is designed to be comprehensible by individuals who are not familiar with SGM health. The tool minimizes barriers to medical curricular change by providing a mechanism to assess and understand how SGM health is incorporated into existing curricula.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*