THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Female primary care physicians (PCPs) generate less visit revenue but spend more time in patient care visits than their male counterparts, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ishani Ganguli, M.D., M.P.H., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 24.4 million primary care office visits in 2017 and compared outcomes for female and male physicians in the same practices.

The researchers found that after adjustment for age, academic degree, specialty, and number of sessions worked per week, female PCPs generated 10.9 percent less revenue from office visits than their male counterparts in 2017 (−$39,143.2) and conducted 10.8 percent fewer visits (−330.5 visits) during 2.6 percent fewer clinical days; however, female PCPs spent 2.6 percent more observed time in visits that year than their male counterparts (1,201.3 minutes). After adjustment for PCP, patient, and visit characteristics, female PCPs generated equal revenue but spent 15.7 percent more time with a patient (2.4 minutes).

“The disconnect between time spent and revenue generated may help to explain why female physicians (especially PCPs) face a greater risk of burnout than their male counterparts,” the authors write. “This disconnect also presents an additional barrier to building and sustaining the increasingly female primary care workforce, given concerns that primary care is already undervalued relative to other specialties.”

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