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Re-conceptualizing interruptions in physician-patient interview: Co-operative and intrusive
Unformatted Document Text:  Interruption Patterns 21 operative interruption and almost twice as much as male patients in intrusive interruption. This finding disperses previous argument that female patients are not more interactive than male patients. It documents that female patients are more dynamic than male patients when interacting with male physicians. In this study, there is a tendency for male physicians to intrusively interrupt female patients more than male patients. A possible explanation may be that the physicians in the M/F condition became impatient when their female patients talked more than male patients. This finding presents a very austere picture for female patients. It may be true that male physicians spend more time with female patients than male patients (Meeuwesen et al., 1991) but unwillingly. Despite the efforts female patients make (e.g., being eleven times as agreeable and co-operative as male patients), they are still more likely than male patients to be intrusively interrupted. Our finding echoes Weijts’ (1994) assertion that female patients face particular difficulties in participating in the medical consultation, especially when the physician is a male. Unsuccessful Interruption We found that patients, male or female, unsuccessfully interrupted physicians six times more than physicians unsuccessfully interrupted patients. In other words, when physicians interrupted patients, they were unsuccessful only 5% of the time. When patients interrupted physicians, they were unsuccessful 32% of the time. This high discrepancy shows that physicians are firmly in charge of the process and/or content of the conversation. It also indicates that patients desire to have a full participation of the medical interview but held up by physicians. If patients wish to say what they have to say and ask what they want to ask, they not only need to learn to ask questions (Beisecker, 1990; Freeser & Thompson, 1993; Greenfield, Kaplan, & Ware, 1985; Robinson & Whitfield, 1985; Roter, 1984), but also do so successfully. Question

Authors: Li, Han., Krysko, Michael., Desroches, Naghmeh. and Deagle, George.
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Interruption Patterns
21
operative interruption and almost twice as much as male patients in intrusive interruption. This
finding disperses previous argument that female patients are not more interactive than male
patients. It documents that female patients are more dynamic than male patients when interacting
with male physicians.
In this study, there is a tendency for male physicians to intrusively interrupt female
patients more than male patients. A possible explanation may be that the physicians in the M/F
condition became impatient when their female patients talked more than male patients.
This finding presents a very austere picture for female patients. It may be true that male
physicians spend more time with female patients than male patients (Meeuwesen et al., 1991) but
unwillingly. Despite the efforts female patients make (e.g., being eleven times as agreeable and
co-operative as male patients), they are still more likely than male patients to be intrusively
interrupted. Our finding echoes Weijts’ (1994) assertion that female patients face particular
difficulties in participating in the medical consultation, especially when the physician is a male.
Unsuccessful Interruption
We found that patients, male or female, unsuccessfully interrupted physicians six times
more than physicians unsuccessfully interrupted patients. In other words, when physicians
interrupted patients, they were unsuccessful only 5% of the time. When patients interrupted
physicians, they were unsuccessful 32% of the time. This high discrepancy shows that physicians
are firmly in charge of the process and/or content of the conversation. It also indicates that
patients desire to have a full participation of the medical interview but held up by physicians. If
patients wish to say what they have to say and ask what they want to ask, they not only need to
learn to ask questions (Beisecker, 1990; Freeser & Thompson, 1993; Greenfield, Kaplan, &
Ware, 1985; Robinson & Whitfield, 1985; Roter, 1984), but also do so successfully. Question


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