The Positive Effects of Feminizing Medicine: Visible changes that modify the profession

    MONTREAL, Nov. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The feminization of medicine has had
numerous positive impacts on the entire medical profession. In particular,
women have had an effect on doctor-patient relationships, the organization of
services, access to and the quality of services, and finally, on the medical
profession itself.
    These are the findings of a study conducted by the Groupe de recherche
interdisciplinaire en santé (interdisciplinary health research group) at
Université de Montréal, commissioned by the Québec Medical Association (QMA),
that was released today.
    This research on the impact of feminization of the medical profession,
practice methods and the choice of specialists debunks some of the myths
surrounding the presence of female physicians in the profession. "The study
added qualitative aspects to the considerable quantitative data that already
exists on this issue. We already knew that the massive arrival of women in the
medical profession had resulted in a drop in the services offered. However,
this study has confirmed that feminization has also had significant positive
impacts on many aspects of medicine. Moreover, the drop in level of activity
is not due to feminization alone, but must be viewed as a generational
phenomenon. For younger members of the workforce, it is more important to find
a balance between their work and personal lives," explained Dr. Jean-Bernard
Trudeau, President of the QMA.

    Difference in the number of hours worked and impact on the quality of
    care offered

    The study revealed that women work about 10% fewer hours than men. In
particular, female general practitioners saw about 15% fewer patients per hour
in their practice than their male colleagues, which means that they spend a
little more time with each patient.

    A few other highlights of the study:

       - In general, women communicate better and establish better
         relationships with their patients than men, which translates into
         greater patient satisfaction and an increase in the effectiveness of
         preventive and curative services.

       - Women in general have better leadership skills when it comes to the
         organization and operation of multi-disciplinary teams. Feminization
         could therefore make it easier to set up integrated care networks
         and participate in reorganization of the health care system. Women
         could thus contribute to improving access to and the quality of
         services. Furthermore, they have a more holistic prevention-oriented

       - The differences between male and female physicians can also be seen
         in their practice methods, especially among general practitioners.
         Men, especially young physicians, can be found more in emergency
         rooms and practices, while women are more frequent in CLSCs and
         hospital units. Women also engage in more prevention activities and
         are more involved with disadvantaged groups of the population.

       - Québec is considered a leader in the feminization of the medical
         profession in Canada. In fact, women began practising earlier in
         Québec and were a little more involved than in the other provinces
         and territories. Feminization started with general practitioners
         before spreading to almost all the specialties. For several years
         now, almost two thirds of medical students have been women.

       - In 2004 and 2005, 75 % of residents in family medicine and 58 % in
         programs in specialties were women.

       - Some specialties attract more women: pediatrics (84%),
         obstetrics/gynecology (87%), dermatology (78%), neurology (75%) and
         psychiatry (73%).

    "The primary goal of the study was to help us better understand the
impact of feminization on the medical profession. But beyond that, the study
will also assist many of our partners in the health care system since it is a
workforce planning tool that complements those that already exist," pointed
out Dr. Jean-Bernard Trudeau, President of the QMA.
    For the past few years, the QMA has been very active in all issues
related to the organization of medicine and new practice methods. The study
released today is a new element that will contribute to the dialogue on these
crucial issues for improving our health care system and the quality of care.

    To view the study and complementary charts, visit the Web site of the
Québec Medical Association at

    About the Québec Medical Association

    The Québec Medical Association (QMA) is a non-unionized organization made
up of more than 9,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and
medical students. Its mission is to mobilize and support Québec physicians in
order to guarantee quality health services for the Québec population.

For further information:

For further information: Véronique Arsenault, Morin Relations Publiques,
(514) 289-8688, ext. 227,; Source: Québec Medical
Association (QMA)

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