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In Problem-Based Learning and Small Group teaching:

  1. Ask - Is gender important here?

  2. Discuss - Will the patient be any better served by an MD who is aware of gender?

  3. Ask - Would the group discussion have been different if the proportion of women and men had been different in the group?

  4. Perform a "sex change" - after discussion of the case ask:

  • How would this scenario be different if the players were male/female?

  • How would this presentation / treatment / outcome be different if the patient were male/female?

  • How would the consultation be different if the doctor were male/female?

  • Would this situation seem reasonable if the players were male/female?   Answering this final question may reveal whether our gender-neutral language hides assumptions about men and women.

Look at PBL cases as a unit - Do the patient presentations reinforce stereotypes?

  • Do the relationships of male and female patients to family and children differ?

  • Do the women in the problems rely on men for their support, definition, etc?

  • Do the men drink, refuse to communicate, or avoid medical care until it’s “too late“?

These stereotypes provide a teaching opportunity, and should be raised to conscious level rather than left as underlying “givens“ in the problem. [2]



2. Tutor Guide to the Gender and Health Collaborative Curriculum written by Dr. Susan Phillips, Queen’s University and Chair of the Gender Issues Committee of the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine.

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