Gender differences in women's health and maternity care training: A scoping review
Women's health and maternity care is a core component of the practice of comprehensive family medicine in Canada. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) requires that all learners achieve clinical competencies in these skills prior to starting independent practice. Through our integrated women's health program at the University of Alberta, Canada, we aim to train all learners in these required skills. However, despite our intentions, general program evaluation reveals differences in
... als differences in clinical experiences based on a learner's gender. The objective of the present scoping review of published literature was to examine the prevalence of gender differences in women's health and maternity care training, and to identify educational opportunities to ensure that the clinical curriculum provides equitable exposures to learners of all genders. Several publications in our review revealed that male learners had fewer clinical encounters than female learners, while others demonstrated that male learners felt a bias against them during their women's health and maternity care rotations. It was suggested that these differences may result from patient refusal or discrimination against the learner by training staff, and may lead the learner to perform less well on clinical assessments and have decreased comfort and interest in this area of practice. Suggested approaches to minimize these differences included encouraging patients to consent to care by a learner, supporting learners while on these clinical experiences, and providing faculty development to clinical educators. Further research into strategies to narrow the gap in gender differences in clinical experience in women's health and maternity care is warranted.