"Does Perceived Empathy Reduce the Role of Gender  Bias in Physician 
Choice for Women's Health?"
Victoria Dunsmore, Morrgan Duncan, Rachael Harasink, Amanda Chappell & Rachel Scott
Faculty Mentors:  Jenessa Steele and Nicholas Lee

Center for Gender Studies Poster Forum ~ 4:30 to 5:30pm ~ Heth 022
"When it comes to sensitive exams, such as a gynecological exam, patients need to be comfortable with their physician, which requires building a positive relationship with them (Kim, Kaplowitz, and Johnston, 2004). This positive relationship is sometimes built off gender-concordance between the physician and the patient, or through patient-perceived empathy of the physician. The results of choosing ones physician based on gender, tends to have mixed results when it comes to the realm of gynecology. Some studies have shown that if a female patient chooses a female physician, they tend to have high rates of satisfaction with their medical visits (Schmittdiel et al., 2000; Zuckerman, Navizedeh, Feldman, McCalla, & Minkoff, 2002); however, other studies have shown that female patients benefit more from having male gynecologists (Balayla, 2011; Roter, Geller, Bernhardt, Larson, & Doksum, 1999); these benefits result from factors such as the physician having longer visits with the patient, exhibiting more partnership behavior, and displaying more empathy towards their patient. Other studies have shown that patient-perceived empathy of the physician is a more important factor in not only decision-making, but in the patientís outcome (Johnson, Schnatz, Kelsey, & Ohannessian, 2005; Howgego, Yellowlees, Owen, Meldrum, & Dark, 2003). Few studies have looked at whether gender of the physician or patient-perceived empathy, plays a more important role when a female patient chooses a gynecologist. The current study aims to evaluate the relative role each plays in the decision-making process for gynecologist choice."
 Keynote Forum Speaker
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