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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 May 15;34(2):Doc17. doi: 10.3205/zma001094. eCollection 2017.

The Gender Lens: Development of a learning aid to introduce gender medicine.

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Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Medizinische Fakultät, Centre for Health and Society, Institut für Medizinische Soziologie, Düsseldorf, Deutschland.
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Medizinische Fakultät, Dekanat, Düsseldorf, Deutschland.
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Medizinische Soziologie, Düsseldorf, Deutschland.


in English, German

Background and aim: Gender medicine takes into account biological and social differences between men and women in terms of prevalence and course of disease, diagnosis and therapy. Medical students should be made aware of this in the early stages of medical education. However, there is hardly any teaching material currently available. This article presents the adaption and first use of the German "Gender Lens," a tool to introduce gender medicine to medical students. Method: The original Canadian "Gender Lens Tool" was translated into German, tested by (n=5) teachers and adapted based on current scientific concepts. The instrument was applied and evaluated using qualitative methods in a student focus group (n=4). It was then piloted in a cohort of fourth-semester students (n=247) in a seminar addressing gender medicine. These experiences were evaluated using quantitative methods. Results: The German translation of the Gender Lens offers students a framework with which to analyze sex and gender differences in terms of the "prevalence, diagnosis, course, therapy and prevention" of a specific disease. Furthermore, it enables a refined search for causes such as "biological disposition, attitudes and behaviors, family and social networks, occupational and material circumstances and experiences with the health care system." Recommendations were received from the student groups regarding teaching methods. Male and female fourth-semester students agreed that the Gender Lens is useful as an introduction to gender medicine. Discussion: Initial experiences with the Gender Lens adapted for the German curriculum suggest that such a learning aid can contribute to raising awareness of gender medicine in medical students.


gender medicine; sex- and gender-sensitive medicine; teaching material

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