Cohort, Gender and Practice Organization: Examining the Bounds of Collaborative Medicine among Newly Established Female and Male Family Physicians in Ontario
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This paper analyzes data from a 1993 survey of 395 newly established female and male family physicians in Ontario, Canada, to examine the relationship between practice organization and gender. Previous research suggests that younger physicians, particularly women, tend to enter group practice. Compared to solo practice, groups may offer more predictable incomes, more manageable workloads, peer collaboration and review, and economies of scale. Further, female physicians in groups may develop distinctive styles of collaborative medicine. The results show that a majority of physicians in our cohort are in private community-based group practice. However, while many groups share premises, staff and expenses, and many have common charts and practice guidelines, only a minority incorporate regular meetings to discuss business or patient care, have shared care of hospitalized patients, or audits of physicians' practices. Few gender differences are observed in private group practice: although women physicians attract larger proportions of female patients than do their male colleagues, women and men organize their groups in similar ways and have similarity strong patient-centered attitudes.
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