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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Sep;187(3 Suppl):S15-8.

Women's health competencies in the undergraduate psychiatry curriculum: past and future.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, USA.



To review the current psychiatry model clerkship objectives for their inclusion of women's health competencies and advise changes in light of recommendations of psychiatric educators and those developed at the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) Women's Health Education Retreat 2000.


The clerkship objectives promulgated by the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) were reviewed for their relevance to women's health. ADMSEP members were surveyed at their 1997 annual meeting and again by means of their listserve in 2000 for opinions regarding inclusion of women's health topics in their curricula.


The current objectives imply many women's health competencies. Those pertaining to abuse are particularly comprehensive. Survey data suggest that educators perceive that psychiatric aspects of reproductive functioning, violence, and trauma; gender differences in prevalence, presentation, and treatment of psychiatric disorders; and gender aspects of the doctor-patient relationship merit particular emphasis in the clerkship curriculum.


Women's health competencies are broadly but implicitly represented in the psychiatry clerkship objectives as currently formulated. Revisions should encompass more explicit appreciation of gender differences and specific additional knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

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