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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SALETTI-CUESTA, Lorena; DELGADO, Ana; ORTIZ-GOMEZ, Teresa  and  LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ, Luis Andrés. Gender Differences in the Perception of Professional Achievement in Family Medicine, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2013, vol.87, n.3, pp.221-238. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The concept of achievement is important to study the professional development. In medicine there are gender inequalities in career. The purpose was to know and compare the professional achievement's perceptions and attributions of female and male primary care physicians in Andalusia. Method: Qualitative study with 12 focus groups (October 2009 to November 2010). Population: primary care physicians. Sample: intentionally segmented by age, sex and health care management. Were conducted by sex: two groups with young physicians, two groups with middle aged and two with health care management. Total: 32 female physician and 33 male physicians. Qualitative content analysis with Nuddist Vivo. Results: Female and male physicians agree to perceive internal achievements and to consider aspects inherent to the profession as external achievements. The most important difference is that female physician related professional achievement with affective bond and male physician with institutional merit. Internal attributions are more important for female physician who also highlight the importance of family, the organization of working time and work-family balance. Patients, continuing education, institutional resources and computer system are the most important attributions for male physician. Conclusions: There are similarities and differences between female and male physicians both in the understanding and the attributions of achievement. The differences are explained by the gender system. The perception of achievement of the female physicians questions the dominant professional culture and incorporates new values in defining achievement. The attributions reflect the unequal impact of family and organizational variables and suggest that the female physicians would be changing gender socialization.

Keywords : Sexism; Gender; Career; Achievement; Physicians; primary care.

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