UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Gender Differences among Healthcare Providers in the Promotion of Patient-, Person- and Family-Centered Care—And Its Implications for Providing Quality Healthcare Lim, Sarah Ashley; Khorrami, Amir; Wassersug, Richard J. (Richard Joel), 1946-; Agapoff, Jame A.


The concept of “patient-centered care” (PCC) emphasizes patients’ autonomy and is commonly promoted as a good healthcare practice that all of medicine should strive for. Here, we assessed how six medical specialties—pediatrics, OBGYN, orthopedics, radiology, dermatology, and neurosurgery—have engaged with PCC and its derivative concepts of “person-centered care” (PeCC) and “family-centered care” (FCC) as a function of the number of female physicians in each field. To achieve this, we conducted a scoping review of three databases—PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycInfo—to assess the extent that PCC, PeCC, FCC, and RCC were referenced by different specialties in the medical literature. Reference to PCC and PeCC in the literature correlates significantly with the number of female physicians in each field (all p < 0.00001) except for neurosurgery (p > 0.5). Pediatrics shows the most extensive reference to PCC, followed by OBGYN, with a significant difference between all disciplines (p < 0.001). FCC remains exclusively embraced by pediatrics. Our results align with documented cognitive differences between men and women that recognize gender differences in empathizing (E) versus systemizing (S) with females demonstrating E > S, which supports PCC/PeCC/FCC approaches to healthcare.

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