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Iris Dupanovic, MS






American Medical Women's Association Sex and Gender Health Collaborative



Iris Dupanovic MS, Yazmin Heredia Allegretti MD, Shivani Mehta BS, Shayna Levine MD, Lavanya Durai BS, Meghan Fuller BS, Sneha Chaturvedi BA, Jan Werbinski MD, Deborah Gomez Kwolek MD

Principal Investigator


Advancing Health Equity in Education: A Student-Led Initiative of AMWA's Sex and Gender Health Collaborative


Sex- and gender-based medicine (SGBM) aims to understand how biological sex and gender affect the pathophysiology, expression, and treatment of disease. Despite its importance, decades of research lacking female animal models and women in clinical trials have limited our understanding of sex and gender-specific health differences. Less than 20% of medical schools have an integrated SGBM curriculum outside of obstetrics and gynecology (Jenkins et al., 2016), and fewer than 25% of medical school educational sessions address the relevance of sex or gender (Thande et al., 2019). The Sex and Gender Health Collaborative (SGHC), a committee of American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), has endeavored to bridge the SGBM education gap by engaging over 200 medical and premedical student participants to research sex and gender differences. Through their efforts, students developed over 50 factsheets that illustrate the impact of sex and gender on risk factors, symptoms, diagnostics, and treatments for common medical conditions. A nationwide network of physicians and medical trainees mentored the students and reviewed the factsheets for accuracy. Pre-participation surveys showed 50.84% of medical students reported SGBM was either “not at all” or “mostly not” part of their medical school curriculum, despite 96.6% recognizing its importance. Post-participation, 63.21% of students strongly agreed that their SGBM knowledge improved. Five cognitive interviews showed medical students not involved in the project increased their understanding of SGBM after viewing the factsheets. Our findings underscore a critical gap in SGBM education, revealing that over half of medical students lack SGBM in their curricula. Survey results indicate that participating students’ understanding of SGBM improved and that project participation was well-received by students. Future work should explore broader implementation of these tools to enhance SGBM competency in healthcare professionals.

Research Context

The gender data gap in healthcare has led to disparities in diagnosis and treatment for women and gender minorities. Despite efforts to include women in research and report data by sex, there has been little translation of known sex and gender differences into medical education. The sex- and gender-based medicine (SGBM) factsheets advance medical education to include women’s and gender minorities’ unique health needs, thereby promoting health equity. Integrating concise summaries of sex and gender differences for common medical conditions into medical training will improve patient care and lead to better health outcomes. Increasing awareness of SGBM in the medical community encourages research into a more diverse understanding of anatomy and physiology, treatments, and health disparities. Our work contributes directly to advancing education in sex differences, gender biology, and women’s health, offering a foundation for more effective medical and preventative care.