Sex, a biological variable, and gender, a cultural variable, define the individual and affect all aspects of disease prevention, development, diagnosis, progression, and treatment. Sex and gender are essential elements of individualized medicine. However, medical education rarely considers such topics beyond the physiology of reproduction. To reduce health care disparities and to provide optimal, cost-effective medical care for individuals, concepts of sex and gender health need to become embedded into education and training of health professionals. In September 2012, Mayo Clinic hosted a 2-day workshop bringing together leading experts from 13 U.S. schools of medicine and schools of public health, Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women's Health (HRSA OWH), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), and the Canadian Institute of Health and Gender. The purpose of this workshop was to articulate the need to integrate sex- and gender-based content into medical education and training, to identify gaps in current medical curricula, to consider strategies to embed concepts of sex and gender health into health professional curricula, and to identify existing resources to facilitate and implement change. This report summarizes these proceedings, recommendations, and action items from the workshop.
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