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Med J Aust. 2003 Dec 1-15;179(11-12):659-61.

Interns are from Venus, consultants are from Mars: differential perception among clinicians.

Author information

  • 1John Hunter Hospital, Division of Geriatric Medicine, HRMC NSW, Australia. knair@mail.newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test for the presence of sex-based differences in perception (the notion that men and women "think" differently, and that differences in perception are biologically based) among healthcare professionals.

DESIGN:

Prospective survey.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

90 medical personnel at a tertiary care hospital in Newcastle, NSW.

INTERVENTION:

Healthcare professionals were shown two pictures that could be interpreted as depicting either a young or an old person, and a word that could be seen as geometric shapes.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The effects of sex, age, seniority, and specialisation in relation to the first impression of the image, the ability to change one's perception, and the speed of perception.

RESULTS:

Contrary to popular opinion, male physicians were more likely to perceive the older figures, and just as likely as women to be able to change their perception. Surgeons and junior staff were more likely to see, as well as being faster to form, an impression requiring abstract thought, and were more able to change their perceptions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Traditional sex stereotypes do not apply to medical personnel, but other age-based stereotypes, and professional rivalries (medical versus surgical) may have some empiric basis.

PMID:
14636151
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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