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Integrating gender and culture into medical curricula: putting principles into practice

In a multicultural and diverse society with vast health disparities, facing rapid socio-economic and demographic change both in the community and within the medical profession, it is imperative that our medical education system addresses appropriately issues arising from this diversity. The educational task is not only to encourage the development of our medical students in their understandings of how human diversity affects the health of their patients, but also to help them understand how it affects their own development as individuals and health practitioners. For several years, and in particular since introducing its new curriculum, the University of Adelaide Medical School has been developing innovative appropriate methods to encourage adequate discussion and learning about human diversity by its undergraduates. This article describes some of the techniques used to introduce gender and cultural discourse into the medical curriculum, and the challenges faced by medical educators in their efforts.

Author(s): Ann Lawless, Anne Tonkin, Tiger Leaton, Leva Ozolins

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