Does equal education generate equal attitudes? Gender differences in medical students' attitudes toward the ideal physician

Petra Verdonk, Annalies J. Harting, Toine L.M. Lagro-Janssen

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Developing a patient-centered attitude is an important objective of medical education. Gender differences in students' patient-centered attitudes are also reported. Purposes: Our study aims to measure (a) do gender differences and age differences exist in 1st- and 6th-year students' attitudes toward the ideal physician? and (b) what happens to gender differences in attitudes as students pass the medical curriculum? Methods: In 2004, attitudes of 1st-year and 6th-year medical students of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre are measured with the Ideal Physician Scale. Scores between groups are compared with t tests and univariate analysis of variance tests. Results: Although both male and female students' attitudes become more care-oriented as they pass through the curriculum, gender differences are still apparent. Conclusions: Medical education does not differentially influence male and female students. Nevertheless, existing gender differences are reproduced. Equal education does not lead to equal attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007

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