Gender and Managed Care

Are there significant differences in how male and female physicians practice medicine through a managed care delivery system? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania hypothesized that there will be significant differences between the behavior of male and female physicians. The study sought to address the effect of market penetration by managed care organizations on the average practice patterns of female physicians. To test these hypotheses, the researchers examined six categories of questions found in the Community Tracking Study Physician Survey: 1) time spent with patients; 2) clinical freedom and perceptions of the quality of care provided; 3) treatment and referral patterns for specific medical conditions; 4) use of advanced diagnostic technology; 5) hours worked in direct patient care; and 6) location of practice. In addition to the physician survey data, this study will use data from the CTS Household Survey and the Area Resource File (ARF). The objective of the study was to examine how the increase in the percentage of women practicing medicine has affected practice styles and patterns.