The influence of gender on the doctor-patient interaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This paper discusses the research focused on gender issues in healthcare communication. Methods: The majority of papers discussed here are based on a research study in which 509 new adult patients were prospectively and randomly assigned to family practice or internal medicine clinics at a university medical center and followed for one year of care. Results: There are significant differences in the practice style behaviors of female and male doctors. Female doctors provide more preventive services and psychosocial counseling; male doctors spend more time on technical practice behaviors, such as medical history taking and physical examination. The patients of female doctors are more satisfied, even after adjusting for patient characteristics and physician practice style. Female patients make more medical visits and have higher total annual medical charges; their visits include more preventive services, less physical examination, and fewer discussions about tobacco, alcohol and other substance abuse (controlling for health status and sociodemographic variables). The examination of gender concordant and discordant doctor-patient dyads provides a unique strategy for assessing the effect of gender on what takes place during the medical visit. Conclusion: Doctor and patient gender can impact the physician-patient interaction and its outcomes. Practice implications: The development of appropriate strategies for the implementation of knowledge about physician and patient gender differences will be crucial for the delivery of high quality gender-sensitive healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume76
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

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Physicians
Physical Examination
Medical History Taking
Delivery of Health Care
Family Practice
Interpersonal Relations
Internal Medicine
Research
Health Status
Substance-Related Disorders
Tobacco
Counseling
Communication
Alcohols

Keywords

  • Doctor-patient communication
  • Patient gender
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Physician gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The influence of gender on the doctor-patient interaction. / Bertakis, Klea D.

In: Patient Education and Counseling, Vol. 76, No. 3, 09.2009, p. 356-360.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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