Breaking the mould: Redefining gender in medical education in India


  • Surbhi Shrivastava Department of Sociology, Emory University
  • Sangeeta Rege Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT)


Gender, India, Medical education, Sex, Social determinants of health, Transgender


The role of gender as a social determinant of health is widely studied and accepted in global and national contexts alike. A key area of concern has been the inadequate and inaccurate representation of gender in contemporary medicine. Collective reviews of popular undergraduate medical textbooks in India have deemed the content as, at best, gender-blind and, at worst, gender-biased. Yet, large-scale change towards engendering medical education is still awaited. This article attempts to rationalize the need for gender-sensitivity in medical education, particularly highlighting the bane of an improper understanding of gender. It elaborates the merits of integrating gender in medical education, as seen through an initiative in medical colleges of Maharashtra. Finally, the article submits that gender-integration is an important first step among many which can guide an intersectional approach to practising medicine in India, and encourage ground-level change, as the country strives to achieve universal health coverage.


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How to Cite

Shrivastava, S., & Rege, S. (2021). Breaking the mould: Redefining gender in medical education in India. Research and Humanities in Medical Education, 8, 25–28. Retrieved from