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A. Male Doctors Can Learn, Too

Narrator: This is Science Today. Dr. Klea Bertakis of the University of California, Davis led a study that analyzed the differences in practice styles between men and women physicians. She and her colleagues videotaped hundreds of doctor-patient interactions over a one-year period.

Bertakis: Having videotaped the entire interaction, we were able to analyze how doctors practice differently.

Narrator: It turns out that women doctors spend more time on preventive services such as medical tests, and more time finding out about the patient's family and general state of mind. Men usually just take a straight medical history.

Bertakis: So they indeed practice medicine in a different way.

Narrator: Which leads to a difference in patient satisfaction.

Bertakis: The patients of women physician were significantly more satisfied than the male physician patients.

Narrator: But Bertakis points out that the behaviors that lead to greater patient satisfaction aren't linked to a doctor's gender. She says men can be trained in the same techniques used by women.

Bertakis: These are learned behaviors. It's not something that happens just because of your gender. 05

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.