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Gender Bias: A Review of Implicit Bias in the OBGYN Clerkship Curriculum

Purpose: This project was designed to reduce implicit bias around sexuality and gender identity in the OBGYN clerkship curriculum.

Background: Medical schools have addressed the lack of transgender and genderqueer-related health topics in medical education by implementing modules or specific LGBTQ curricula. Little literature exists on assessing an entire curriculum for the way that gender identity is discussed or implied. In the OBGYN clerkship, educators may explicitly or implicitly be reinforcing a cisgender female patient standard, while failing to discuss structural and systemic inequities leading to disparate care and health outcomes.

Methods: Audio recordings, slides, and handouts from the 18 didactic sessions given during the third year Ob/Gyn clerkship were reviewed.  The number of times that gendered descriptors  (i.e. “woman,” “mother,” “she/her”) were used in the recorded lectures, along with corresponding information such as, \"Was gender defined?” or “How was gender identity determined?”,  were recorded.  There will be faculty development this fall focused on considering implicit biases while teaching and the didactic sessions will be reviewed again for changes.

10 of the 18 faculty lectures given during the OB/GYN clerkship curriculum have been reviewed.  Every lecturer used female pronouns when discussing patients.  The number of times these pronouns were used use ranged from 7 to 169 times per hour lecture(mean=72). Only one lecturer defined their use of gender. No lecturer mentioned healthcare disparities between gender identity groups or systemic inequities impacting health outcomes.

Our preliminary analysis shows that the lecturers use female-gendered terminology, without discussion around assumptions, health disparities, or structural inequities.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, CME, UME, Lecture,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Professionalism,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Rose Milando, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Jennifer Keller, MD, MPH

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