In this issue of the Italian Journal of Gender-specific Medicine, we wanted to put together an overview of all the presentations that were delivered at the 4th Italian Congress on Gender Medicine held in Padua (Italy) on 27-28 November 2017.
I can proudly say that the Congress can be rightly considered to have confirmed the existence and validity of an Italian Network on Gender Medicine that is truly unique on the international scene (European, American and Eastern). It saw the presence, collaboration and wealth of Italian players engaged in this field: the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health) with its referral Center of Gender-Specific Medicine, the GISeG (Italian Group on Health and Gender), the Giovanni Lorenzini Foundation and the committees on Gender Medicine of the major Scientific Societies: FADOI (Italian Federation of the Associations of Internist Hospital Managers), SIMG (Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Care), FNOMCeO (Italian National Federation of the Orders of Doctors and Dentists), AIDM (Italian Association of Medical Women), as well as representatives of major Scientific and Medical Societies, Universities and many Regional authorities. There was the active presence of Ms Paola Boldrini, rapporteur for Article 3 of the Lorenzin Decree on Gender Medicine, which entered into force on 15 February 2018.
This Congress aimed to address four fundamental needs:
1. Taking stock, from a clinical and scientific point of view, of the fundamental issues of medicine that in recent years have had a major impact on the study of gender differences, such as epigenetics, heart failure and arrhythmias, the relationship between obesity and cancer, lung cancer, immunology and cancer, dementia, stroke, and molecular alterations, in addition to the role of gender medicine in health economics.
2. Assessing the progress made by the various training agencies in the teaching of Gender Medicine, first and foremost academia. In this regard, the Conference of Presidents of the Degree Courses in Medicine and Surgery made an important contribution by preparing a document that encourages all schools of medicine to include gender differences not in a separate course but as cross-cutting knowledge to be taught in all subjects. However, the commitment of FNOMCeO, which is holding numerous courses in Medical Associations and is preparing a long-distance training platform, is also important, as is that of the SIMG which is promoting research and culture on gender differences in medical practice through a committee on gender medicine.
3. Comparing the regional healthcare organization for gender medicine of the Italian Regions (in particular, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany and Calabria were present). The Regions are at different stages of progress and article 3 of the Lorenzin Decree, which regulates and requires the implementation of gender medicine, will be instrumental in stimulating new and urgent planning.
4. Collecting and spreading, through Posters and Oral Communications, the results achieved by young Italian researchers: 55 posters were presented, 9 of which were chosen as oral communications and 3 prizes (1000 euros each) were awarded to the best three chosen by a committee of five experts.
The programme and abstracts can be found at the following link: http://www.sabiwork.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Libretto-Finale.pdf
As President of the Congress, I can conclude that I met with the satisfaction of the participants (210) and had the joy of meeting many people who gender medicine brought together to collaborate as well as to share a beautiful friendship. Like previous congresses, this year’s edition marked the culmination of many years of hard work, but was especially a new starting point to enhance translational scientific research, the organization of healthcare policy and training programmes at all levels in order to spread the culture and practice of medicine that differs greatly when dealing with a man or a woman.
President of the 4th Italian Congress on Gender Medicine
President of the Italian Research Centre for Gender Health and Medicine
Member of the Scientific Board of the International Gender Medicine Society