|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||Gender Healthcare Interpersonal communication|
In the year 2001 in the month of February, there was an article that had examined the story of a male Obstetrician. The said person was fired based on claims that he failed to match his female colleagues by the number of the sick persons he had examined. As the artifact describes, the said physician went ahead and took a legal action with an allegation for sex bias. He was advocating for the rights of female patients to appeal for female doctors over the competent male colleagues. From the various researches that have been done as well as detailed studies, it has been observed that one of the marketing strategies that has been widely used in competitive medical markets; is the utilization of physicians from the female gender. It is a tactic that has helped medical centers and hospitals to attract more female patients hence it is considered to be a dynamic strategy (Lewin, 2001). The main goal of this paper is aiming at carefully looking at the degree or even the scope of how the gender of a physician would influence the preferences of a patient or even how far it would affect the patient's expectations. All these aspects based on the dynamics of making communication, how communication is to be delivered as well as the general satisfaction of the patient in regards to medical care.
Regardless of the common history of bias based on gender especially in contradiction of women medics, extensive research has evidenced that patients do have to a large extent preference concerning gender when they are ailing from a medical condition that is not gender oriented. In many cases, patients of both genders have been seen to opt for a male medical service provider in a universal manner. In fact, both male and female patients universally choose male physicians when selecting a provider. However, the choice has been greatly influenced by the ration of male to female medics (Roter & Hall, 1998).
In recent years, many governments across the globe have been championing as well as establish medical schools specifically meant for the female gender only. However, it will take some good amount of time to balance the ration of physicians with respect to gender hence even getting an equal access to doctors of both sex will also take time. Nevertheless, at the moment the patient suffers from an ailment that is gender inferred, the patient's inclination for a same-gender medic is increased. Such preferences have been linked to various aspects like the amplified sense of relations, a feeling of embarrassment; the uneasiness occasioned by physical exposures of the sexual organs as well the discomposure in chatting on sensitive issues. Due to these concerns, competition for female doctors in gynecology and obstetrics fields have greatly increased since medics of this gender in this particular field are few in numbers (Sabin, et.al, 2009).
Studies on communication have shown the male and female physicians usually behave in a different manner when carrying out examinations and visits on patients. Female patients are known to spend more time with their clients than male medics. It is because female physicians tend to engage their patients more emotionally alongside positive talks. They also emphasize so much on the need for psychological exchange with their patients than their male counterparts. The therapeutic relationship between the patient and the physician is greatly influenced by the above aspects or interactions. The deep interactions can also cause an impact on matters like a physician-patient partnership, investigation of the psychological needs of the patient and also on the judgment of the patient (Buller, 1987).
Patients generally value the style of communication employed by female physicians since they seem to predict the positive outcome of patients. It highly touches on the satisfaction of the patient, reminiscence of essential medical information and also acquiescence with specific medical recommendations. However, research has shown that the direct relationship between the gender of the doctor and the overall experience of the patient varies. The findings have revealed that most patients are highly satisfied with women physicians, while others are satisfied with medics of the opposite sex and other feels no effect at all. In its place, some patients just evaluate their doctors on the basis of performance rather than on gender basis (Street, 2002).
Review of Literature
Effective communication performs a very crucial role when discussing and deciding on critical issues concerning a patient's health. The styles of a medic's communication are directly interrelated with a patient's level of health care satisfaction. A certain psychologist by the name Ben-Sira developed a model on social interaction which explains this relationship. Nevertheless, this model only focused on one contracted style of communication hence overlooking the wider range of other styles. Control and affiliation were the two unspecified styles evaluated by this model. Based on the medic's style of communications and how they influence the satisfaction of the patient, eight features of medical interviews were closely examined. Both the patient's evaluations on the doctor's communication and medical were strongly interrelated meaning that competency in communication is a base for competency in medical care. There was a positive relationship between the affiliate style and satisfaction while the relation between satisfaction and dominant styles was negative (Cooper, Gallo, and Gonzales, 19990).
It also shows that the importance of communicating was influenced by the seriousness of the disease, the age of the medic, the area of specialization as well as the pre-visits made. The women doctors usually show compassion and engross the patient into positive conversations where they ask questions and inquire detailed information as not is the case with their male colleagues. It, therefore, makes this service as of personal care hence appealing to the patients. Again, involving the patient in the negotiation of his health care increases the patient's satisfaction (Cooper, Gallo, and Gonzales, 19990).
The female medics are said to take 29% of time longer as they engage patients in social interactions, encouraging them, reassuring them of good health and intensively gather information on children. However, in terms of disease management both gender engage patient in detailed discussions. For children, they tend to be more comfortable with their same gender medics while the parents prefer the female doctors since kids easily communicate with the female doctors. The outcomes are in line with the adults' styles of communication hence influences significantly on gender discrepancies in medical care. The gender differences should, therefore, be dealt with to improve the healthcare process as well as outcome (Bernzweig, et.al, 1997).
The trust that patients have in their medical care providers determine to a large extent their level of satisfaction and outcome. Trust for a patient is enhanced when physicians try to dig deep into their earlier health experiences, making clear and complete communication building a partnership as well as obtaining referrals. It becomes hard for patients to switch physicians when they have trusted that the particular medic is caring and comforting (Fiscella, et.al, 2004). "When consultations for all reasons are combined, women are seen to consult their general practitioners more than men through most of adult life. It is, therefore, often assumed that women are more likely to consult for every condition. Women were no more likely than men to consult a general practitioner in the previous year; in addition, women were no more likely than men to consult at a given level of severity, except in the case of one aspect of the reported experience of mental health problems" (Hunt, et.al, 1999).
Other research shows that men interject women more regularly than the opposite in various situations. A study of interruptions between doctors and patient during medical visits has been done. It shows that the male physicians interject patients extremely, which is not the case for women. The male patients also interject as much as the physicians which may in some cases destabilize the authority of the medic (West, 1984).
Great influence is gained from corresponding positions of power, prominence as well as gender when it comes to facetoface communication. Gender also influences the doctor-patient interface to a point where it becomes interrelated to the skills, goals, emotions, adaption to communication as well as the emotions of the parties involved. In medical happenstances, differences in gender come from a variety of sources including the different communication styles of male and females, their perception on each other and the manner in which they accommodate each other's behavior during relations. Gender is one among many affiliate variables inclusive of ethnicity, age and personal experience influencing such procedures. Therefore gender disparities are frequently modest when scrutinized examined transversely in a populace of medical caregivers plus patients (Street, 2002).
The relationship in terms of power between the physician and the physician also performs a critical role in the determination of gender effects. Transfer of expertize power from the physician to the patient could be accomplished in this field. The socio-demographic aspects like attitudes and situational adjustable in patients stimulate the medical encounter. Again, the impact of patient's active participation in the healthcare encounter cannot be overlooked. It is because it emphasizes seeking information, patient decisiveness and patient contribution in regards to decision making. Most patients have the urge to ask the doctor questions but very few make such attempts even when they clearly understand that the got a right to challenge the authority of the medic, hence should be trained on this (Beisecker, 1990).
Other patients also always feel a strong need to play a part in making a decision regarding their health yet they don't rise up to the challenge; however, do not see the need. Patients who have suffered discrimination in their former encounters has also contributed to delays in seeking health care, the possibility of mistrust, interjecting health care continuity and even avoidance of an outlined system of health care. Across all standards inclusive of Managing Directors and CEOs, the men exhibited a resilient inherent and unequivocal preference for the American whites than what the women expressed. Such a tendency has been spotted for other social-oriented biases like age, ability, weight, and similar domains (Sabin, et.al, 2009).
Studies reveal that medical visits are more active for patients who are diagnosed by female doctor thus the assurance of a high satisfaction. When attending clinics, the patients of female doctors are regarded to be more participative than those of male doctors. It is because the women doctors create more concerted relationships with their patients and devote more to listen to them. The aspect of discussing social matters also creates a good platform for dealing with emotional problems (West, 1984). Thus we can conclusively say that most patients prefer getting medical services from female physicians than male physicians: ironically the preferred gender is scarce in the profession.
Beisecker, A. E. (1990). Patient power in doctor-patient communication: What do we know? Health Communication, 2(2), 105-122.
Bernzweig J, Takayama JI, Phibbs C, Lewis C, Pantell RH. (1997). Gender differences in physician-patient communication evidence from pediatric visits. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 151(6), 586-591.
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