Association Membership



Does Medical School Prepare Doctors to Treat Sexual Health?


Introduction: Sexual function is a normative process warranting the equal attention of preventive and treatment services throughout the lifespan. Despite growing recognition of the value of human sexuality in clinical settings, there is no standardized sexual wellness curriculum universally administered in medical schools. Accordingly, many current and future physicians feel underprepared when taking care of patients’ sexual health needs.

Methods: To strengthen sexual health knowledge among medical students in Miami, we conducted a brief workshop in February 2020 and March 2021. The workshop provided an introductory overview of the physiology of sexual pleasure and functioning. The curriculum was developed and taught by an associate professor of medicine formally certified as a clinical sexologist. Prior to the workshop, we conducted a brief survey to understand medical students’ experience with sexuality education and identify gaps in training. Post workshop another survey was administered evaluating content as well as instructor proficiency.

Results: Among 62 participants who completed a pre-workshop survey, less than 30% reported being trained to query patients on sexual dysfunction, and just 8% were trained to assess sexual satisfaction. In the post workshop survey, 95% of participants believed the workshop increased their knowledge of sexual functioning and its physiologic markers and nearly all would also recommend the class to other students.

Conclusions: Increased sexual health training in medical schools has the potential to better prepare physicians to serve patients’ diverse sexual health needs and improve patient outcomes.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.