206015 Sex in Medicine Week: A student-organized educational intervention and its evaluation

Monday, November 9, 2009

Francesca I. Decker , College of Medicine/Graduate Program in Public Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Michael A. Joseph, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Graduate Program in Public Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY

  • Issue:

    Many healthcare providers feel embarrassed or inadequately prepared for discussing sexual health with patients. This leads to decreased quality of care. While many studies describe this problem, few programs exist to address it, and few tools exist to assess existing programs' effectiveness.

  • Description:

    Sex in Medicine Week (SIMW) #1 March 2008

    • Student-organized curriculum enhancement: eight workshops/lectures led by experts and/or patients, and films about patient sexual health
    • Content: issues perceived by student organizers as important

      • LGBT health, abortion, contraception, religion and sexuality, culture and sexuality
    • Organization:

      • Planning committee: two MD/MPH students, two medical students
      • Two faculty advisors
      • Eleven student organizations: contributed funding, time, personnel
    • Evaluation: Organizers created post-workshop survey for attendees, assessing self-reported knowledge and event utility, interest-level and format.
  • Lessons Learned:

    • 100+ attendees, 59 survey responses
    • Attendees found their workshop interesting (100%) and useful (98.3%).
    • They preferred workshops, films and panels to role-playing or lectures.
    • Least knowledge reported for: LGBT health, local abortion law, sexual assault victims, and sex and disability.
  • Recommendations:

    Least understood topics are the focus for SIMW #2 (March 2009). A more rigorous evaluation has been created to assess effectiveness of SIMW #2 in improving second year medical students' knowledge, comfort and intentions regarding patient sexuality. Pre and post event surveys will be distributed, and analyzed using paired t-tests. We expect the results to demonstrate the utility of student-run, public health informed education in supplementing the formal medical curriculum.

Learning Objectives:
1. List at least three reasons physicians do not ask about patient sexual health. 2. Discuss the reasons for sexual health education in a medical school curriculum. 3. Explain the utility of a student-organized intervention in improving students' knowledge, comfort and intentions regarding patient sexuality.

Keywords: Education, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I previously organized "Sex in Medicine Week" (#1) and currently serve as organizer for "Sex in Medicine Week" (#2). In addition, I am quite conversant with the literature regarding medical school education on sexual and reproductive health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.