A Student-Designed and Student-Led Sexual-History-Taking Module for Second-Year Medical Students Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Sexual history taking is a core clinical skill for all physicians, yet many medical schools do not adequately address this important topic within the curriculum. This article describes a sexual-history-taking module that was initiated, designed, and presented by 2nd-year medical students for their peers as part of the required Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course. DESCRIPTION: As part of this module, a group of 2nd-year medical students developed a large-group presentation and small-group role play cases to enhance students' basic sexual-history-taking skills in challenging situations, teach ways to ask nonjudgmental questions, and introduce legal issues that may arise. Under faculty supervision, the students recruited and trained peer and faculty facilitators and designed, developed, and analyzed the survey evaluation tools. EVALUATION: Both the students and facilitators completed an anonymous questionnaire within 1 to 4 weeks of completing the activity. Of the 92 students completing an online survey, 92% rated the large group presentation good or excellent, and 89% rated the small-group role playing activities as good or excellent, as compared to overall ICM course ratings of 68% good or excellent. Facilitators were well prepared for their roles and reported that the students responded to them positively. Participating students reported that having students as teachers positively enhanced their small group learning experience. Students performed better on the sexual-history-taking questions on the final examination (97.5%) than on the final examination overall (89%). CONCLUSIONS: Medical students can successfully create and implement a curriculum module for their peers in a sensitive area such as sexual history taking. Due to changing responsibilities for students as they progress through medical school, sustainability may be challenging.


  • Leeper, Heather
  • Chang, Elisa
  • Cotter, Ginger
  • MacIntosh, Peter
  • Scott, Fran
  • Apantaku, Lecia
  • Broutman, Laurie
  • Lazarus, Cathy

publication date

  • June 19, 2007

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