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A. Men and Women Doctors: No Inherent Difference

Narrator: This is Science Today. Dr. Klea Bertakis of the University of California, Davis led a study showing that patients of women doctors are more satisfied than patients of male doctors. The reason: women doctors spend more time on preventive services, and more time finding out the patient's personal history and state of mind. Earlier studies showed the same results, but gave different reasons.

Bertakis: The explanations that they use for the differing patient satisfaction was that well, women are more warm, loving, open, nurturing, and that may be true but when it comes to practicing medicine there are certain behaviors that lead to patient satisfaction, and those can be taught.

Narrator: In other words, male doctors can learn techniques used by women doctors. Bertakis says her study should be kept in mind when training tomorrow's doctors.

Bertakis: We as medical educators must commit ourselves to looking at ways of teaching our medical students not only to be cost effective physicians but also to keep the patient in their minds -- not only their health outcomes but their satisfaction.

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