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How does Doctor-Patient Communication Differ Based on the Gender of Doctor and the Gender of Patient? An Analysis of Entertainment-Education Based Network Medical Drama Grey’s Anatomy.
Unformatted Document Text:  Doctor-Patient Communication in Grey’s Anatomy 12 As the objective of the study is to enhance current understanding of the role and impact of gender in the communication between doctor and patient characters in the medical entertainment programs, the most recent available season (season six) has been chosen for the study. Out of total twenty four episodes of the season six, I randomly selected twelve episodes for this study. Since this study has considered each doctor-patient interaction as the unit of analysis, there appeared adequate amount of data for the study and it was decided to randomly select only 12 episodes from season six. As season seven was being broadcasted on the network at the time of the study, and not concluded yet, the most current season (season seven) could not be selected for the study. Units of Analysis Each interaction taken place between doctor character and the patient character in the storyline was considered as the primary unit of analysis for this study. The unit of analysis was defined on the basis of the minimum time that the patient character and the doctor character were visually shown for at least 5 seconds and had either one way or two way communication with each other in each interaction. If the doctor character or patient character were very briefly (less than 5 seconds) shown or verbally mentioned in a screenshot, it was not coded. Variables and definition of variables: The variables are defined below for the purpose of clarity Variables Definition Coding categories 1. Demographic Age, gender, ethnicity and position of the doctor character and patient character. Age, gender, ethnicity of both doctor and patient and position of the doctor. 2. Health topic Health topic related questions -illness or health problems, doctor’s and patient’s concerns about medical, therapeutical or psychological information, and questions and concerns about any specific medical instruction. Doctor to patient questions (on illness, health problems, about family members, open-ended questions, closed ended questions). Patient to doctor questions (on health problems, therapeutic, psychological and

Authors: Pokhrel, Lok.
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Doctor-Patient Communication in Grey’s Anatomy
 12
As the objective of the study is to enhance current understanding of the role and impact 
of   gender   in   the   communication   between   doctor   and   patient   characters   in   the   medical 
entertainment programs, the most recent available season (season six) has been chosen for the 
study. Out of total twenty four episodes of the season six, I randomly selected twelve episodes 
for this study.  Since this study has considered each doctor-patient interaction as the unit of 
analysis, there appeared adequate amount of data for the study and it was decided to randomly 
select only 12 episodes from season six. As season seven was being broadcasted on the network 
at the time of the study, and not concluded yet, the most current season (season seven) could not 
be selected for the study. 
Units of Analysis
Each interaction taken place between doctor character and the patient character in the 
storyline was considered as the primary unit of analysis for this study. The unit of analysis was 
defined on the basis of the minimum time that the patient character and the doctor character were 
visually shown for at least 5 seconds and had either one way or two way communication with 
each other in each interaction. If the doctor character or patient character were very briefly (less 
than 5 seconds) shown or verbally mentioned in a screenshot, it was not coded.
Variables and definition of variables: The variables are defined below for the purpose of clarity
Variables
Definition 
Coding categories
1. Demographic
Age, gender, ethnicity and position of the 
doctor character and patient character. 
Age, gender, ethnicity of both doctor and  
patient and position of the doctor. 
2. Health topic 
 Health topic related questions -illness or 
health   problems,   doctor’s   and   patient’s 
concerns about medical, therapeutical or 
psychological information, and questions 
and concerns about any specific medical 
instruction. 
Doctor   to   patient   questions  (on  illness, 
health   problems,   about   family   members,  
open-ended   questions,   closed   ended  
questions).
Patient   to   doctor   questions  (on  health 
problems,   therapeutic,   psychological   and  


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