Primary Care/Health Services


14 – 15 December 2022





Objectives of the module


  • can recognize sex and gender specificities in a selection of primary care topics (pain management, chronic diseases, care of older patients, palliative care, preventive medicine)
  • develop a critical awareness of common gender stereotypes that might bias clinical activities and management of patients in primary care
  • include intimate partner violence into the health issues to be addressed by general practitioners
  • acquire knowledge about specific needs of LGBT+ in primary health care
  • develop gender-differentiated communication skills
 Content of the module

Sex and gender specificities in primary health care are well known and documented. Cardiovascular symptoms are less recognized in women for example, whereas depression is not addressed and undertreated in men. Referral to specialists can also be gender biased. Furthermore, gender specific issues such as intimate violence or LGBT+ specificities may only be recognized and addressed in the intimacy of a general practice.
This module aims at providing an overview on sex and gender differences in the vast domain of primary health care and bring tools to address gender-specific questions in the privileged setting of the general practice.

In concrete terms, the module comprises the following blocks:

  • Pain management (CC)
    Pain management is a field that currently gathers and disseminates data on how women and men are not equal facing pain. Biological factors explain different manifestations of pain, and social factors determine how patients are relieved from expressed pain. These aspects will be explored in this block
  • Chronic diseases
    There are numerous sex and gender differences in chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, obesity) often attributed to individual behavior, that are in fact mostly driven by structural factors affecting women and men differently.
  • Aging (YM)
    Gender-specific differences accumulate over the course of a lifetime, leading to important differences in how older men and women experience health, health care, and functional impairment. Variation in certain diagnoses and drug prescriptions will be highlighted, as well as the impact of differences in social contexts between older men and women.
  • Palliative Medicine (SE)
    In the preparation for the end of life and the medical advance planning, differences not only show up in the age groups, but also in the sex. However, most of the available data come from studies with men, and data from women are often lacking. We discuss reasons and possible consequences for primary care.
  • Prevention (CC)
    Exploring gender differences in screening for cancer, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.
    Understanding the influence of gender on health-related behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption and other addictions
  • Intimate partner violence (IPV) (NRG, JLB)
    • Data on IPV show that women are heavily burdened.
    • WHO ecological model to understand risk factors and guide prevention.
    • Primary care physicians have a key role to play in collaboration with the cantonal and regional networks.
  • LGBT+ in primary health care (EV)
    • Management of LGBT+ patients in general practice (from communication to specific clinical needs)
  • Communication, patients-providers interaction (RMV)
    • Understand how gender influences interactions and communication, and what can be done to limit bias that prejudice health

Prof. Dr. med. Carole Clair (CC), Centre universitaire de médecine générale et santé publique (Unisanté), Lausanne (Modulleitung)

Dr. Joëlle Schwarz (JS), Centre universitaire de médecine générale et santé publique (Unisanté), Lausanne

Dr. med. Yolanda Müller (YM), Centre universitaire de médecine générale et santé publique (Unisanté), Lausanne

Prof. Dr. med. Steffen Eychmüller (SE), University Center for Palliative Care, Inselspital University Hospital Bern

Prof. Dr. Med. Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Department of Primary and Community Care,Radboud University Medical Center, NL

Dr. med. Nathalie Romain-Glassey (NRG), Centre universitaire romand de médecine légale, Université Lausanne

Dr. med. Erika Volkmar (EV), Fondation Agnodice, Lausanne

Dr. med. Régis Marion-Veyron (RMV), Centre universitaire de médecine générale et santé publique (Unisanté), Lausanne

Registration Deadline

November 2022