Physician gender and patient centered communication: The moderating effect of psychosocial and biomedical case characteristics

Board Certification Committee of The Korean Academy of Family Medicine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: Female physicians have a more patient-centered communication style than their male counterparts; however, few studies have investigated how the biomedical or psychosocial nature of a patient diagnosis might moderate this relationship. Methods: Seventy six 3rd year residents (50 male and 26 females) seeking board certification from the Korean Academy of Family Medicine participated in the 2013 Clinical Practice Examination by conducting two simulated patient (SP) interviews, one presenting a largely psychosocial case and the other largely biomedical. The interview recordings were coded with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Results: Female physicians and their SPs engaged in more dialog than male physicians in both cases. Female physicians were more patient-centered than males for the psychosocial case (t (-3.24, P<. 0.05), however, their scores did not differ for the biomedical case. In multivariate analysis, a significant interaction between physician gender and case (z (-3.90, P<. 0.001) similarly demonstrated greater female patient-centeredness only for the predominantly psychosocial case. Conclusion: Case characteristics moderated the association between physician gender and patient-centeredness. Practice implications: Case characteristics need to be considered in future research on the association of physician gender and the patient-centered communication, as well as in the tailoring of physician communication training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Patient-centeredness
  • Patient-physician communication
  • Physician gender
  • RIAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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