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West J Med. 1974 Feb;120(2):95-100.

Attitudes toward women physicians. A study of 500 clinic patients.


A questionnaire was administered to 500 clinic patients and their replies about men and women physicians were analyzed. Ninety-six percent stated that the typical doctor is a man, and 78 percent expressed a preference for a male doctor. A significant number of patients said they would be unwilling to discuss certain subjects with a woman doctor or to follow her advice. Women physicians were considered less competent and less experienced than their male counterparts. Attitudes toward women doctors were correlated with patients' sex, age, ethnicity, occupation, and chief complaint. Most impressive statistically were the negative attitudes of Spanish-speaking patients and the positive responses of obstetrics and gynecology patients and black women patients. Patients who had previously consulted women physicians were more favorable toward them, suggesting that increased exposure may lead to reduced prejudice.

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