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Disparities in Female Health Care

This guide aims to address the gaps in medical research that contribute to female health disparity

Sex Bias in EducationDentist treating female dental patient

Beyond historical gaps in the literature, sex biases may be perpetuated in health sciences education. Listed below a re selected strategies to address potential sex bias in education:

  • Encourage Reflection and Discussion: Encourage students to reflect on their own clinical cases with group discussion or a gender expert to help increase gender awareness in the classroom (Geiser et al., 2022).
  • Hiring a Diverse Faculty: Developing a diverse staff of educators can improve the academic performance of underrepresented student groups (Llamas et al., 2019), and encourage students to engage with diversity issues in the classroom (Smith et al., 1997).
  • Medical Education Images and Equipment: Tools used in medical education can contribute to students' implicit gender biases (Parker et al., 2018). Using gender-neutral imagery or diverse anatomical models can help students to move beyond their gender biases.


Photo by Victor Soto

Searching the Literature

Different combinations of these terms can highlight different perspectives in the conversation of these issues. For more information about MeSH and CINAHL subheadings, you can refer to Gumberg's Health Sciences Literature Search guide or view tutorials on our YouTube channel.

Keyword Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) CINAHL Notes
Sexism Sexism Sexism Subject headings are controlled language to help users find what they need. Many keywords used may lead to the same subject headings.
Gender Bias Sexism Gender Bias Gender bias is used to address sex bias in CINAHL. This is an example of databases conflating concepts of gender and sex.
Professional Education Education, Professional Health Personnel- Education OR Professional Knowledge Some databases offer the opportunity to 
Students Students, Medical Students Continued and professional education are other major fields of research, so it is recommended to specify your population of interest.
Gender-Based Microaggressions Aggression Microaggressions MeSH does not differentiate between microaggressions and overtly aggressive behavior.
Academic Performance Educational Measurement Academic Performance Academic performance is one of measures used to examine the effectiveness of educational initiatives.
Example Searches

Click on the highlighted links to see the search or copy and paste this search into the suggested database.

CINAHL: Health professional education AND gender bias

ERIC: Gender bias AND (reflection or reflective or reflective practice)

PubMed: "Education, Professional"[Mesh] AND (Sexism OR Gender Bias OR Sex discrimination)


Selected Databases

For more relevant databases to search, you can browse through Gumberg's health science and education resources.


Additional Readings