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Medical School Curriculum

Women’s Health Research at Yale is leading efforts to integrate the influence of sex and gender on health into the Yale Medical School pre-clinical curriculum. Dr. Kelsey Martin, a practicing hematologist and oncologist and Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine, is spearheading the process as WHRY’s Associate Director for Medical Education in Women’s Health. The goal is for instructors to teach the latest findings concerning sex and gender across the different disciplines, thus leading to better outcomes for patients.

Developing world-class experts

Medical research historically did not target the health of women, which meant data on women and the influence of sex and gender on health were not available to include in medical school curricula. Now that science has caught up, integrating these data into medical education is critical to prepare future clinicians and physician scientists to consider how these factors influence health outcomes.

Creating a forward-thinking medical curriculum

Yale Medical Students begin their medical training with a year-and-a-half long preclinical curriculum designed to teach the biology of underlying health and disease. With the help of faculty “champions,” content on women’s health and sex and gender differences are integrated into the lessons and lectures of the eight major courses of this curriculum. This integration is guided by WHRY’s Drs. Martin and Mazure and in close collaboration with Yale Medical School’s Health Equity Thread. In addition, WHRY serves on the medical school’s Health Equity Thread Advisory Group, which guides the development of best practices to train physicians to respond to inequities that affect health and disease.

Learning from patients at Yale New Haven Hospital

Dr. Lisa Freed (left) of the Yale New Haven Hospital Women's Heart and Vascular Program.

WHRY’s training program also includes collaborations that advance research in clinical settings. For example, Dr. Lisa Freed’s research within Yale New Haven Hospital's Women's Heart and Vascular Program. This research is developing interventions to achieve better cardiac outcomes for women. Dr. Freed has also served as a mentor in WHRY’s Undergraduate Fellowship. As a mentor, she helps to prepare the next generation of clinicians to treat patients and provide a special emphasis on clinical care for women.