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Here’s How Many Minutes Male Physicians Spend with Patients vs. Female Physicians

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Earlier this month, Medscape released its “Physician Compensation Report 2016,”, and according to Carol Peckham over at the publication’s website, the report is based on information collected from “nearly 19,200 physicians in over 26 specialties,” who “disclosed not only their compensation, but also how many hours they work per week, how many minutes they spend with each patient, the most rewarding part of their job, changes to their practice resulting from healthcare reform, and more.”

This time, we examine the minutes physicians personally spend with each patient.

As Peckham writes, “The amount of physician facetime with a patient is often an issue, and lately both physicians and patients complain about getting even less time. However, results of our 2016 survey were consistent with those of all surveys since 2011: 13-16 minutes is the most common amount of time spent with patients, followed by 17-20 minutes.”

There is a gender element to this, Peckham continues, as other research has discovered “that female physicians spend more time with patients.”

However, there have been some changes in 2016. Before we get to that, let’s look at the specific numbers.

Eleven percent of male physicians spend 25 or more minutes with their patients vs. 15 percent of female physicians.

Eleven percent of female physicians vs. 9 percent of male physicians spend 21 to 24 minutes personally with each patient.

Between 17 to 20 minutes are spent with each patient by 21 percent of male physicians and 24 percent of female physicians.

According to Peckham, “…in the 2012 Medscape Physician Compensation Report, 55 percent of female physicians spent 17 or more minutes with their patients compared with 48 percent of men.”

The caveat: “This is, of course, is influenced by some of the specialties more commonly chosen by women; there are very few female physicians in critical and emergency care, which have shorter physician visits.”

“In this year's report, however, the difference diminished,” she points out, “with 41 percent of men and 49 percent of women spending 17 or more minutes. There were only slight differences in the other time categories.”

For example, the difference between male physicians who spend 13 to 16 minutes with their patients vs. female physicians who spend an equal amount of time is negligible, 29 percent to 27 percent. The same is true for those male docs who spend 10 to 12 minutes with each patient vs. female docs, 21 percent to 18 percent, and 6 percent of male physicians spend less than nine minutes vs. 4 percent of female physicians.

As physicians who are looking for jobs, how much time do you like to spend on average with each patient? How can you ensure that you’ll be afforded this amount of time at your next job?

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