This study compared prescription-writing practices of male and female physicians for all classes of psychotropic drugs to see if previously documented patterns of differential prescribing still exist. The medical records of 108 patients of an academically affiliated family practice in the southeastern United States were examined. Subjects were eligible for selection if they were diagnosed as having a primary or secondary mental disorder other than tobacco abuse, alcoholic intoxication, alcohol abuse, and alcoholic psychosis. Records of 7 male and 7 female physicians were reviewed. There were 27 subjects in each of the following categories: female patient/female physician, male patient/female physician, male patient/male physician, and female patient/male physician. Female patients received significantly more first-time prescriptions for a psychotropic drug than did male patients (p = 0.003). Both male and female physicians prescribed psychotropic drugs at a higher rate for female than male patients with similar problems and diagnoses. However, the rate was significantly higher among male than female physicians (p = 0.014).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine