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Physicians Resist Requests From Immigrants for Female Ob-Gyns

Findings based on physician interviews regarding immigrant women's requests

African american woman getting blood pressure checked

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- While health care providers are sympathetic to immigrant women's requests for female obstetricians, they resist accommodating these requests and place greater value on maintaining gender equity, according to a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Christa Aubrey, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues conducted structured interviews with a purposive sample of 20 obstetric health care providers (10 resident and 10 staff obstetricians). Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically.

The researchers found that the 13 female and seven male physicians recognized the validity of immigrant women's preference and requests for female health care providers. While they expressed sympathy for their preferences, they were also resistant and expressed concerns about accommodating these requests. Concerns included fear of perpetuating and exacerbating gender inequalities in medicine, the extent to which patient decision-making was coercion-free, the ability of the health system to meet the demands, and implications for training and quality of care.

"Our qualitative study suggests a need for greater research to inform policy that meets the professional and personal values of both physicians and patients," the authors write.

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