Educational councils and medical societies recommend that medical students learn to recognize and care for victims of sex trafficking. Previous research has found that healthcare providers are one of the few professionals to interact with sex trafficking victims during exploitation. This review evaluates currently published curricular and extracurricular U.S. medical education resources. A literature review of MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, MedEdPORTAL, Google Scholar, and Google was conducted in December 2018 to January 2019 using the search terms: human trafficking OR sex traffic OR sex violence OR sex work OR sex exploitation OR child prostitution AND education, medical, undergraduate OR students, medical OR medical student or medical education OR education, medical. The inclusion criteria included informational educational materials for medical students on sex trafficking. Studies were excluded for: non-English language, empirical research on sex trafficking, nonhealth or nonundergraduate medical students, and resources focused on other sexual health topics. The database literature search uncovered 64 scholarly articles. Inclusion criteria were met by 4 articles; 2 articles were added from a reference review, and an additional 5 articles were found from an Internet search. These 11 resources provided educational materials relevant to medical students on sex trafficking themes, including scope, consequences, identification, treatment, referral, legal, security, and prevention. The curricula demonstrated a wide variability in delivery method, length, and scope. A limited published sex trafficking curriculum exists for medical student learners. Future research evaluating unpublished curricula within U.S. medical schools is necessary to coordinate efforts for standardized and robust sex trafficking education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health