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Patient portal messages: Why there's a gender gap in physicians responding


Jennifer N. Lee, M.D. recently conducted a study on managing patient portal messages at her medical practice — and found something interesting about physician gender.

Is there a gender difference in how responsive physicians are to patient portal messages?

A small study conducted at a primary care practice in Philadelphia identified some interesting gender gaps in patient communication. The study was designed to test using medical assistants to filter and triage patient portal messages. Did that solution help reduce the gender gap?

The results of the study — authored by Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP; Laura Kurash, MD, Max Yang and Joseph Teel, MD, FAAFP — were published in the Annals of Family Medicine in May.

Medical Economics recently sat down with Lee to discuss the study findings. Lee is medical director at Penn Family Care and vice chair of clinical operations at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also assistant professor of clinical family member at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

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