Integrating Women’s Health into the Curricula of Public Health Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Research Brief | October 17, 2014

Women, it is said, hold up half the sky. Healthy women hold up a healthy world: they nurture and improve their own health and well-being, and that of children, families, and communities. Now, more than ever, health leaders recognize the critical need to integrate women’s health into public health programs.

To this end, schools of public health nationwide are focusing on effective strategies to integrate women’s health into their curricula. Women’s health issues are central to efforts that improve public health; interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration are key to such efforts.1 A 2001 report by the Institute of Medicine noted that such collaboration is the cornerstone to improving quality and creating patient-centered care.

Indeed, for more than 20 years, efforts have been underway to enhance health professionals’ knowledge and skills about women’s health and health care. Studies of existing strategies and recommendations for improving training curricula were commissioned for medicine (1997), dentistry (1999), baccalaureate nursing (2001), pharmacy (2005) and public health (2005), and various universities and professional organizations undertook projects to address deficiencies and challenges.

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