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In 2021, the American Medical Association formally adopted policy recognizing trauma-informed care (TIC) as a practice. Subsequently, in 2022, the National Collaborative on Trauma-Informed Health Care Education and Research (TIHCER) developed a validated set of TIC competencies for undergraduate medical education (UME). While trauma can stem from many events, including early traumas such as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), sexual and gender-based violence are pervasive causes. As TIC evolves, gaps in UME curriculum exist; this study seeks to evaluate undergraduate medical education coverage of topics pertaining to sexual violence (SV), gender-based violence (GBV), and trauma-informed care at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (UVM LCOM). The study also seeks to explore demographic differences in knowledge and attitudes of medical students regarding the same topics. Data was collected through distribution of a short Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) style voluntary, anonymous survey to the medical student body. Most students (approximately 96% of respondents) feel inclusion of SV, GBV, and TIC is important in their medical education and in the education of all future healthcare providers. Despite this, a minority of students (approximately 17%) feel they receive an appropriate amount of education on these topics, and only around 15% of respondents feel comfortable with their ability to provide trauma informed care. Additional analysis will compare differences in pre-clinical and clinical level students. While we expect no significant change in responses regarding importance of stated topics based on pre-clinical or clinical level, we do expect a gradient in responses regarding comfort level with ability to provide patient care as students progress through training. Notably, nearly 1/3 of respondents identified as a survivor of SV, with the vast majority of those survivors being female or LGBTQ+ identifying individuals, highlighting the pervasiveness of SV and its intersection with academic medicine as detailed in the 2022 AAMC report on Understanding and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Academic Medicine. This study was initially developed to evaluate education in topics of SV, GBV, and TIC, and will be used to guide implementation of these subjects in the Larner College of Medicine undergraduate medical curriculum. Initial programmatic changes since the conception of this study includes the revision of a first-year orientation session about Sexual Violence Prevention and Reporting, increased inclusion of topics related to SV, GBV, and TIC on curricular mapping initiatives, presentation of findings to the curriculum Thematic Working Group, and collaboration with the Thematic Working Group on potential curricular changes. Immediate next steps include the presentation of discussed potential curricular changes at the upcoming Curricular Change Committee meeting for implementation in the subsequent academic year. Future studies proposed include collaboration with UVM Medical Center graduate medical education, collaboration with the UVM College of Nursing and Health sciences, and surveying of students at discrete points in the medical curriculum in order for more succinct conclusions to be drawn.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.