In 2001, a landmark report from the Institute of Medicine, “Does Sex Matter?” stated that sex and gender are both basic human variables and important health determinants. Although broadly utilized, the two terms are often used inappropriately even in the scientific literature. "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles and behaviors that society considers appropriate for men and women. Masculine and feminine are gender-related terms. “Sex” is a biological construct and includes chromosomes, cells, and tissues. Male and female are sex-related terms.
The increasing body of sex- and gender-specific evidence dictates a change in how medical education approaches teaching both women’s and men’s health. The current segregation of men’s health and women’s health must be expanded to a broader more inclusive sex and gender specific health. This approach
serves to expand women’s health beyond the standard bones, hormones, and reproduction to other diseases and to include men in the consideration of the typical “female-sexed” diseases of osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, and depression. From the prevalence of auto-immune illnesses to the differences in clinical presentation of myocardial ischemia, factual differences in gender and disease are well-known and well-published.
As such, approaching health through the lens of sex and gender‐based medicine is defined as the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and how the manifestations, mechanisms, and treatment of disease vary as a function of the complex relationship of both sex and gender.
The TTUHSC Sex and Gender Specific Health Curriculum (SGSHC) Project began in the School of Medicine in 2010 and has expanded to other schools. The overarching goal of the project is to integrate sex and gender-based evidence into existing curricula, both internal to and external to TTUHSC. With this approach, we consider the project to be about building curricular threads that will weave through or layer our current educational programs.
The SGSH Learning Modules have been created by interprofessional Tech Triad Teams. The teams are comprised of faculty, scientists, residents, and students representing the Schools of Allied Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. The modules focus on areas of health that have established sex and gender differences and are presented in “Parts” designed to progressively advance from beginning to
intermediate to advanced learners. Since the modules are designed in Parts, they can be adapted for use across the Schools in both the pre-clinical as well as clinical years.
The online system includes a collection of pre-, intra-, and post-test knowledge and higher order questions stored in a database. The questions are inserted at several points during each module session to measure longitudinal retention of knowledge.
For more detailed information about the SGBMC please visit our website at http://www.ttuhsc.edu/medicine/sex-gender-specific-health/
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