245148 Implementation of an elective designed to enhance medical student competencies and comfort related to sexual health

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rachel Schwartz , Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, NY
Rebecca Bak , Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, NY
Kimberly Casten , Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, NY
Rebecca Feldman , Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, NY
Mary Halton , Tulane University Medical School, Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, LA
Alexis Light , Tulane University Medical School, Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, LA
Gino Mortillaro , Tulane University Medical School, Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, LA
Christopher Terndrup , Tulane University Medical School, Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans, LA
Ann-Gel S. Palermo , Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Danny Schieffler Jr., PhD , Office of Graduate Medical Education, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Erica Friedman, MD , Department of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, NY
Recent studies suggest that most medical schools provide basic sexual health education, but many don't provide students with sufficient comfort and competency in discussing and treating patients' sexual health needs. Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Tulane University School of Medicine students perceived a need and concomitantly implemented a sexual health elective to develop students' skills and knowledge to manage their patients' sexual health concerns. This elective consisted of ten 90-minute sessions. Topics included: sex across the lifespan, sexual health in the context of chronic disease, and making safer sex sexy. A guest lecturer, such as a physician or a sexuality expert, taught each session. There were 15 participants at Mount Sinai and 20 at Tulane. The participants completed post-session evaluations (Likert scale of 1-4 with 4 being strongly agree and 1 strongly disagree). For the Mount Sinai elective, mean scores of the ten sessions showed that 95% of the participants agreed/strongly agreed that the sessions increased their knowledge on the topic discussed in class. In addition, 99% of participants' agreed/strongly agreed that the information taught in the sessions was relevant to their future careers. Comparing results with the Tulane University School of Medicine participants show no statistical difference. In conclusion, this elective was successful in increasing students' self-reported knowledge about the topics taught, which they felt were relevant to their future career. We also demonstrated that the elective could be successfully adapted at two different medical schools suggesting the possibility for implementation at other schools in the future.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the need for supplemental sexual health education for physicians in training outside of the regular medical school curriculum. 2. Describe an elective designed to deepen medical studentsí understanding of sexual health issues, help medical students identify their attitudes and biases about sexual health and sexuality, and begin to develop their skills and knowledge to manage sexual concerns of their patients. 3. Assess the efficacy of an elective designed to develop medical studentsí competencies and comfort related to sexual health.

Keywords: Curricula, Sex

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student who helped implement a sexual health elective at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was part of a research study to look at the efficacy of the elective.
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.