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Exploring gender differences in doctors' working lives

Jefferson, Laura (2013) Exploring gender differences in doctors' working lives. PhD thesis, University of York.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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Background: As the proportion of women in medicine draws towards parity, long-standing questions about gender differences in the way that doctors work become more pertinent. Gender differences in medical working patterns and career choices are well documented; but there is a lack of understanding of everyday differences in the working lives of male and female doctors, particularly in UK hospital medicine. In this thesis, potential sources of gender variations in activity rates, previously reported in the literature, are identified. Methods: Multiple methods were employed to explore potential gender differences in doctors’ working lives. Systematic review methods synthesised existing literature on gender differences in the communication style, content and length of medical consultations. Qualitative methods were used to develop in-depth and contextualised understanding of potential gender differences in UK hospital consultants’ working lives, using observation and interviews. Potential variations in clinic length data were analysed quantitatively and synthesised with the existing literature using meta-analysis. Finally, a pilot questionnaire was designed and tested to build on qualitative findings and investigate variations in a wider sample. Results: Doctors’ gender appears to influence their working lives, and the interface between home and work, and these influences may partly explain variations in activity rates. Specifically, female doctors appear to spend longer on consultations; adopt different styles of communication such as lowered dominance and greater use of psychosocial communication; experience greater barriers in their careers such as gender discrimination and problems with work-family conflict; and may experience lower levels of cooperation from colleagues. Conclusions: This research provides important and timely understanding about the sources of gender differences in the working lives of hospital consultants, which may affect both the quality and quantity of care provided by male and female doctors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Communication, Gender, Hospitals, Interpersonal Relations, Physicians, Physician gender, Physician-patient relationship, Qualitative research, Questionnaire, Systematic review.
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.574071
Depositing User: Mrs Laura Jefferson
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2013 10:00
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:02
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4010

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