Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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CME Newsletter - December 2016 (PDF)  


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Educational Series Focuses on Gender Medicine

Despite a growing body of medical research about gender differences, studies continue to show that most healthcare providers are not being properly trained about discrepancies between the sexes and how those impact the diagnoses and treatments of patients.

To help better inform healthcare providers, the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Institute, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Faculty Development Office at Cedars-Sinai launched a new educational initiative earlier this year called the "Gender Medicine Lunch & Learn TED Talk Series."

The next installment, "Why Medicine Often Has Dangerous Side Effects for Women," is scheduled for Jan. 6 in the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion, PEC 4-5. The event will begin with a TED talk video by Alyson McGregor of Brown University. The video will be followed by a discussion led by C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, and Sarah Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A box lunch will be provided.

"There is science that supports the significance of sex and gender differences in everything from the symptoms of heart disease to how we metabolize drugs," Bairey Merz said. "We've got to do a better job of using that knowledge to treat our patients. That is precision medicine and personalized healthcare."

The National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 requires that all NIH-funded medical research include women and minorities. The result has been an accumulation of data on sex differences in medical science, but that important information is often overlooked in the care of patients.

Research has shown that women who are nonsmokers are three times more likely to get lung cancer than men who are nonsmokers. Two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease are women. And clinical trials have also revealed that while a daily aspirin may significantly reduce the risk of heart attack for men, it does not do so for women — but it lowers women's risk of stroke.

"A major survey of residents and fellows revealed that 70 percent of them were rarely, if ever, taught about gender differences, but a majority felt that kind of training is important and should be given," Kilpatrick said. "This series is an opportunity to begin addressing some of that need for better education and training."

To RSVP for the upcoming discussion, please contact Lorie Younger at lorie.younger@cshs.org or 310-248-6642.