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Best publication award 2018

This award is made for a full-length article or a chapter, published in the five years to 31 Dec of the previous year, with a South African first author. (This will change in 2019 with Zimbabwe joining as a region). This year, for the first time, a joint award was made.

Müller, A. (2013). Teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health in a South African health sciences faculty: addressing the gap. BMC Medical Education, 13: 174.

This publication summarises empirical research on the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity-related health disparities and health concerns in the health sciences curricula at the University of Cape Town. Understanding the exclusion of these topics has direct practical relevance to South African health professions education: sexual orientation and gender identity are important social determinants of health (Logie, 2012; Pega and Veale, 2015), and healthcare providers thus need the knowledge, attitudes and practical skills to provide competent care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients. The American Association of Colleges of Medicine released a detailed guide on how to integrate topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity into medical curricula (Eckstrand and Sciolla, 2014). Understanding the current gaps in our curricula is the first step full-length curriculum reform that meaningfully incorporates these topics.

Badenhorst, E., & Kapp, R. (2013). Negotiation of learning and identity among first-year medical students. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(5), 465-476.

This paper addresses the identity shifts that students in an academic development programme undergo.  Whilst such programmes endeavour to support the notion of widening access, and thereby offering students support to overcome learning barriers, cognisance should be taken of the psychological toll this has on students’ well being.  The transition from school to university poses particular problems, specifically with regards to alienation.  Many students encounter an unfamiliar dominant academic culture that does not foster a sense of belonging. Educators should be aware the alienation could impact negatively on students’ performance – especially if these students are further put into support programmes that separate learning activities from the majority of the student body.

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