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6th Year Sex and Medicine Workshop, 4th of October 2002

Final year medical students from the previous Monash curriculum were invited to attend a workshop that explicitly dealt with issues of gender in the development of their medical careers.

Convened by Dr Jane Fox, Assistant Clinical Dean, Monash Medical Centre, and Ms Jo Wainer the programme was designed to introduce the concepts of gender-blindness in medical research, medical teaching and practice environments. Students were challenged to develop increased insights into the pressures and rewards of different disciplines of medicine, and the relationship to being female or male. Strategies about how to combine a career and family were also discussed.

After a series of lectures from clinicians and students, the students were asked to observe the gendered nature of their own experience by responding to a number of gendered vignettes (see below). Responses were discussed and equitable solutions negotiated that acknowledged that the problems arose out of structural and environmental gender-blindness.

Students were ask to chose to attend either the male or female discussion group where a number of number of notable clinicians gave presentations about their experience of the impact of the gender of the doctor on their medical career. Students reported that they found the experience gave a name to some unspoken inequities that they had not previously been given the opportunity to consider. Below is the programme and the responses to the gendered vignettes.