Research Project

Integrating Gender in Medical Education

Research Area : Women's health

This project is aimed at the training of medical educators in state medical colleges in Maharashtra to incorporate a gender perspective in their teaching with a focus on issues of gender-based violence and discrimination. The need for this project stems from the key role that medical teachers can play in recognizing and addressing gender bias in medical education and practice, which often translates into poorer outcomes in health service delivery for women. Further, health care providers constitute the first point of contact for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. They can play a critical role not only in evidence collection and treatment, but also in identifying women who may be facing violence but may not report it. There is need for sensitization of the medical profession in understanding violence against women as a health issue and adequate training in addressing it.

In order that medicine becomes more gender sensitive, educating medical practitioners on gender issues and how gender interacts with other determinants of health is important. This is a crucial first step to change biases that exist in the field of medicine at different levels including research, service delivery, textbooks and teaching. This project aims to integrate gender perspectives in medical teaching and curriculum in Maharashtra by training faculty members of five disciplines, namely, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Preventive and Social Medicine and Forensic Medicine. The focus is on issues related to violence against women and sensitization of medical students and professionals.

The specific objectives of this project over three years are:

  1. Build capacity of medical teachers on gender and violence through a training of trainers’ [TOT] programme: Participating colleges will send in five faculty members each, one from each of the above disciplines, to be trained in a 10 days course to be conducted over two phases.
  2. Facilitate teaching of gender perspectives in medical curricula by trained medical educators: The 30 participating faculty members so trained will be instrumental in introducing gender perspectives in their classroom teaching. They will also prepare teaching material for the same. Mentoring support will be provided by course faculty members to each participant in the process.
  3. Advocate for policy inclusion of modules integrating gender perspectives in medical curriculum by assessing impact: Participants will undergo impact assessment and evaluation before and after training. A working group comprising of deans of participating colleges, representatives from DMER and MUHS, project faculty members as well as participating faculty members will be formed in order to advocate for integration of the project output in the medical curriculum in the state.

Participating colleges are: Government Medical College, Nagpur, Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Swami Ramanand Teerth Government Medical College, Ambejogai, Government Medical College, Miraj, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Government Medical College, Kolhapur, Shri Bhausaheb Hire Government Medical College, Dhule, Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s Medical College, Navi Mumbai.

The above mentioned objectives have been successfully achieved over a period of 3 years. At present there is a pool of 19 GME trained educators across 7 medical colleges of Maharashtra. In order to test the efficacy of the GME modules an intervention study was carried out in 3 out of 7 medical colleges for two disciplines in one of the semesters. The results of before and after evaluation after the implementation of gender integrated modules have demonstrated that inclusion of gender content in the medical curriculum can bring about a positive change in the gender attitude of medical students emphasising the inclusion of gender in medical curriculum to make gender sensitive doctors in future.

The gender integrated modules have been drafted for 5 years of MBBS curriculum across all 5 disciplines (Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology and Psychiatry). The drafting of modules has been a team work of all the educators, mentors and the CEHAT team. The modules have gone through a series of reviews from internal experts as well as external experts who are social scientists as well as practicing doctors. The modules have been submitted to DMER and are in the process of being integrated in the undergraduate medical curriculum.

CEHAT is now in the process of taking the work forward by working with these medical colleges to develop protocols to respond sensitively to violence against women and children and thus making the clinical practice gender sensitive. 

For more information on the project, please visit: Website of Gender in Medical Education

CEHAT Team: Ms. Sangeeta Rege (Coordinator)

Ms. Amruta Bavadekar (Research Officer)

Core faculty: Dr.Sundari Ravindra, Renu Khanna

Supported by: United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA)

Project Publications