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Sex and gender competency essential to medical care
Date:2/12/2013

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a change to current dosages for sleeping medications in women to half the current prescribed level, and research suggests that flu dosages for women be reconsidered as well. Consideration of how women respond to medicine should be common practice, but we aren't there yet. To accelerate the integration of sex and gender influences into medical education and clinical training, the Sex and Gender Women's Health Collaborative (SGWHC) proudly announces the launch of the first and only digital resource dedicated solely to sex and gender evidence based care to promote health and improve disease outcomes. We invite you to visit us at: http://sgwhc.org.

"Both sex and gender have a major impact on health and wellbeing, and so should be considered in every aspect of medicine," says Kimberly Templeton, MD, Professor of orthopedic surgery at Kansas University Medical Center (Kansas City), and a board member of both the American Medical Women's Association and the American College of Women's Health Physicians, two founding partners of SGWHC.org.

"Mounting scientific evidence demonstrates unequivocally that women and men vary down to each cell. Sex differences in disease prevention and management should be recognized and applied to provide optimal health care for everyone," says Dr. Templeton.

"Historically, sex and gender focused health information has been fragmented and difficult to access, adversely impacting medical education and, ultimately, patient care. In response, SGWHC is advocating for universal inclusion of a culturally competent, sex- and gender-based approach to medical education and training," says, Janice Werbinski, MD, Medical Director of Borgess Women's Health in Kalamazoo, MI, and SGWHC executive director.

At SGWHC.org, medical students, nurse practitioners/nurses, and allied health faculty and providers have open access to the single largest online collection of medical education curricula and teaching tools. This evolving content aims to foster sex and gender sensitivity in delivering optimal care for all.

Despite substantial evidence of differences in symptoms, responses and outcomes based on sex and gender, medical research and practice remain largely based on the model of the 70kg white male. Women are not small men, but more significantly, sex and gender variability go beyond obvious reproductive distinctions. Every cell has a sex.

"After more than twenty years advocating for research to understand sex differences, having the information taught in medical schools and translated to clinical practice is and continues to be the fulfillment of SWHR's mission," says, SWHR President and CEO, Phyllis Greenberger, MSW.

This collaborative supports the recommendations of the 2010 IOM Report on Women's Health Research, which states that while "over half of the U.S. population is female, gaps remain both in research areas and in the application of results to benefit women in general and across multiple population groups."

We welcome all institutions and organizations within the medical, nursing, and allied health professions to work with us to expand the Sex and Gender resource base, raise awareness, and advance the adoption of sex and gender content into medical curricula and practice.

What is Sex and Gender Competency?

"Sex" refers to our biology, or genetics (XX for women, XY for men); "gender" refers to social roles, behaviors and environmental influences. Sex and gender affect health independently as well as interactively.
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Contact: Jodi Godfrey
jgodfrey@sgwhc.org
973-809-5462
Sex and Gender Women's Health Collaborative
Source:Eurekalert

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