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AMA J Ethics. 2017 Apr 1;19(4):332-339. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.4.ecas2-1704.

How Should Physicians Respond When Patients Distrust Them Because of Their Gender?

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Associate professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, and serves as director of research at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and executive medical director of community health innovation for University of Chicago Medicine, and Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar, the associate director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, and an inaugural faculty fellow of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence.
President of the Greenwall Foundation in New York, and a professor emeritus of medicine and director emeritus of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and an attending physician at the Richard H. Fine People's Clinic and the medical wards at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.


There are many reasons why gender-concordant care benefits patients and is requested by them. For training hospitals, however, such requests present challenges as well as opportunities in providing patient-centered care. Responding to a case in which a female patient who is having a routine exam refuses care from a male medical student, we discuss ethical principles involved in gender-concordant care requests, when it is appropriate to question such requests, and a team-based approach to responding to them.

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