Integrating gender into a basic medical curriculum

Petra Verdonk*, L. J.L. Mans, A. L.M. Lagro-Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: In 1998, gaps were found to exist in the basic medical curriculum of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre regarding health-related gender differences in terms of biological, psychological and social factors. After screening the curriculum for language, content and context, adjustments aimed at incorporating gender issues were proposed. The aim of this study was to evaluate those adjustments, as well as to investigate whether gender had been successfully incorporated into the basic medical curriculum, and to identify the factors that played a role in this. METHODS: The education material of 9 curricular blocks was re-evaluated and interviews were held with block coordinators. RESULTS: Since the beginning of the project, gender has increasingly been brought to the attention of the students. Various factors have played a role: concrete and directly executable content-oriented proposals for adjustment; adequate translation of gender differences into actual patient care; motivated block co-ordinators; the presence of a 'trigger person' in the faculty; incorporation into the existing education programme; the involvement of block co-ordinators in decision making, and the provision of practical support. DISCUSSION: Integrating gender into the basic medical curriculum has been largely successful. Block co-ordinators' personal recognition of the importance of gender in patient care greatly facilitated implementation. The evaluation stimulated the forming of new ideas. It is recommended that these factors and those mentioned above should be taken into consideration when integrating gender into other faculties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1125
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Education
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005

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