“Eliminating Gender insensitive medical practices: Building Medical Educators Capacities to integrate Gender Concerns” is a collaborative effort of DMER, MUHS and CEHAT, aimed to deepen gender in medical education and to create gender equitable rural health services. The training of the medical educators in integrating gender in medical education is the first implementation step of the project.
The second leg first virtual training underwent successfully on 17th and 18th July 2021. 48 medical educators comprising of HODs, Professors, Associate Professors from departments of Gyanecology and Obstetrics, Forensic Medicine, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Community Medicine actively participated in the sessions. They belonged to 5 government Medical colleges namely GMC Aurangabad, GMC Akola, GMC Solapur, GMC Miraj and GMC Dhule.
On 17th July, Dr. Priya Prabhu (Associate Professor, GMC Miraj) and Dr. Sonali Deshpande (Associate Professor, GMC Aurangabad) who are also GME trainers, commenced the training by talking about ‘Gender based violence and impact on health’. The second session was delivered by Dr. Henal Shah who is a psychiatrist working as an Associate Professor in a municipal hospital and medical college of Mumbai. Dr. Shah explored the topic ‘Gender in psychiatry’. Dr. Shah used various case studies during this session which evoked discussion around depression, mental health needs of sexual minorities, role of HCPs in providing gender sensitive mental health care. The last session was conducted by Ms. Rebecca Cook who is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Medicine and the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, and Co-Director, International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, University of Toronto. Rebecca spoke about ‘ethical issues in medical practice’ and ‘gender stereotypes in the health sector.’ Gender stereotypes includes process of ascribing to a woman specific characteristics or roles by reason only of her sex. Rebecca spoke about pervasiveness & persistence of gender stereotypes and how to dismantle gender stereotypes.
On 18th July, Dr. Vivek Pakhmode, The joint director, Medical Education and Research, Mumbai addressed the medical educators. He shared his personal experiences of gender biases he faced during childhood and under graduation and reiterated that there is urgent need to integrate gender in medical education and clinical practice. Dr. Sriniwas Gadappa who is Professor & HOD of OBGY department at Government Medical College & Hospital, Aurangabad shared efforts made by Aurangabad Gynaecology Department to change Harmful medical practices. Later, medical educators were divided into discipline wise groups to discuss harmful medical practices and were asked to present harmful medical practices in their discipline and how they can change those. Dr. Jagadeesh Reddy and Dr. Padma Bhate-Deosthali congratulated participants for suggesting steps to overcome harmful medical practices.
The final step was group work by medical educators based on their discipline designing gender integrated lesson plans. Dr. Arundhati Chandrasekhar (IAS) who is Director, NHM, Karnataka was invited to discuss these presentations. Dr. Arundhati who is also doctor by education praised the efforts made by medical educators to integrate gender into lesson plans and said that gender should be integrated in all disciplines.
The sessions received positive response from faculties. Faculties mentioned that sessions were informative and helped them to understand many concepts. In the words of a senior faculty the training has helped in understanding ‘role of gender’ in medical education and clinical practice as despite being in the field for several years she mentioned being unaware of it.