Gender differences in practice characteristics of graduates of family medicine residencies

J Med Educ. 1987 Nov;62(11):895-903. doi: 10.1097/00001888-198711000-00004.


A survey of 310 graduates of eight university-affiliated family medicine residencies in the northwestern United States conducted in 1985 revealed several significant differences between male and female graduates. The female graduates were significantly (p less than .05) more likely than male graduates to practice in urban settings, taking salaried positions, and work in nonprivate practice. With regard to practice content the women spent significantly (p less than .01) more time in the office setting, worked fewer hours per week in direct patient care, and reported doing fewer complex procedures in their practice than did the men. The women were more satisfied than the men with their income but equally satisfied as the men with their professional and personal lives. There were no significant gender differences with regard to concerns about liability and hospital privileges. The women felt significantly (p less than .05) less well prepared in several subject areas, especially surgical areas; hierarchical multiple-regression analysis showed that this difference persisted when analysis controlled for community size and practice setting. Possible explanations and implications are proposed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Certification
  • Family Practice* / education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Professional Practice*
  • Sex Factors