Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Sex Med. 2017 Apr;14(4):535-540. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.01.017. Epub 2017 Feb 12.

Sexual Health Competencies for Undergraduate Medical Education in North America.

Author information

Departments of Community Health and Preventive Medicine/Medical Education; Center of Excellence for Sexual Health, Satcher Health Leadership Institute; Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Emerita), University of Louisville Medical School, Louisville, KY, USA.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.



The number of hours spent teaching sexual health content and skills in medical education continues to decrease despite the increase in sexual health issues faced by patients across the lifespan. In 2012 and 2014, experts across sexuality disciplines convened for the Summits on Medical School Education and Sexual Health to strategize and recommend approaches to improve sexual health education in medical education systems and practice settings. One of the summit recommendations was to develop sexual health competencies that could be implemented in undergraduate medical education curricula.


To discuss the process of developing sexual health competencies for undergraduate medical education in North America and present the resulting competencies.


From 2014 to 2016, a summit multidisciplinary subcommittee met through face-to-face, phone conference, and email meetings to review prior competency-based guidelines and then draft and vet general sexual health competencies for integration into undergraduate medical school curricula. The process built off the Association of American Medical Colleges' competency development process for training medical students to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming patients and individuals born with differences of sex development.


This report presents the final 20 sexual health competencies and 34 qualifiers aligned with the 8 overall domains of competence.


Development of a comprehensive set of sexual health competencies is a necessary first step in standardizing learning expectations for medical students upon completion of undergraduate training.


It is hoped that these competencies will guide the development of sexual health curricula and assessment tools that can be shared across medical schools to ensure that all medical school graduates will be adequately trained and comfortable addressing the different sexual health concerns presented by patients across the lifespan. Bayer CR, Eckstrand KL, Knudson G, et al. Sexual Health Competencies for Undergraduate Medical Education in North America. J Sex Med 2017;14:535-540.


Competency Based Education; Medical Education; Sex Education; Sexual Health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center