on any given day, the bulk of my schedule is filled with women with maybe two or three men thrown in for variety. i didn't do anything to make it that way. it just is. women often tell me they chose me because i am female. they specifically want a female provider. i think what they really want are qualities they belive they are more likely to come by in a female. they are using gender as a surrogate marker, much like we use LDL levels as a surrogate for cardiovascular risk. we have to make decisions somehow.
that's okay with me. i like women. we get along just fine. but what i really like is to see their husbands, boyfriends or significant others show up on my schedule a few months later. now that's a compliment! what usually happens is this. i meet the new patient. as we get to know each other, they see that i am a caring doctor, they feel comfortable with me. so they bring their partner to their next visit. it's nothing formal but i know they are checking things out. next thing you know, they are on my schedule as a new patient! voila! sometimes i am the first female doctor they've had, other times not. in the end though, gender seems to have little to do with our relationship. i think that is the point i am trying to make -- in the end it is more about the relationship we build, then our gender. what do you think?