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Dr. Helen

Do Men and Women Practice Medicine Differently?

April 22nd, 2014 - 6:48 am

That is a question posed by this CNBC article looking at the differences in how many services male and female doctors perform with Medicare patients:

The diagnosis: a serious case of medical gender gap.

Male doctors on average make 88 percent more in Medicare reimbursements than female physicians, according to an analysis of recently released government data, which suggests that the gender of a medical provider could play a role in the number of services they provide patients.

The NerdWallet research found that male physicians on average were paid $118,782 in Medicare reimbursements by the federal government in 2012, compared with $63,346 for women doctors.

Naturally, the “alarming” headline of the article is that male doctors are paid more in Medicare reimbursement than female doctors. However, the real question might be:

“This certainly begs the question of whether men and women practice medicine differently,” Ositelu said. “The bottom line is patients may experience higher costs through doctors who bill for more services per patient.”

Higher costs or tests run that save lives or just make them better? Why are more procedures worse? Maybe men are more willing to ask for procedures that their female counterparts do not? Also, note that men see many more Medicare patients, an average of 512 per male doc and only 319 per female doc. Why is that? Are females less willing to see Medicare patients or less able to take on more of them as clients? And if you see more patients, don’t you charge for more services? This is a troubling article, one that doesn’t look at the quality of medicine and the reasons behind why procedures are being performed, but rather, wonders why women docs are getting less money than men from the government Medicare program.

April 20th, 2014 - 4:12 pm

So I only checked off 20/65. How did you score?

The Upside of Marrying “Down”

April 19th, 2014 - 2:19 pm

I saw this article in the WSJ (via Instapundit) written by Sonya Rhodes, author of a new book The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match: How Today’s Strong Women Can Find Love and Happiness Without Settling. From the article:

Today, a successful single woman who falls for a man making less money than she does or not sharing her career ambition may face not-so-subtle disapproval from friends and family. One patient of mine reported being told, “I’m surprised you haven’t found someone who is more your equal.” Another felt insulted when a trusted friend asked, “Are you sure you wouldn’t be happier with a man who is making more money than you?”

These women were in love with solid, supportive guys who shared their values—men who weren’t driven by money. They dreaded the concerned whispers from friends or family who persisted in believing that they were “marrying down.”….

For most strong, successful women, the alpha male of old isn’t the best match. I have seen in my practice what happens when two dominant personalities engage in power struggles: The alpha male will assume that his priorities should dominate, while the alpha woman will assert hers. These are the most difficult duos to treat.

Over the past 30 years, says Stephanie Coontz, director of public education at the Council on Contemporary Families at the University of Chicago, “egalitarian values have become increasingly important to relationship success.” Confident, dominant women need collaborative partners more than they need traditional breadwinners. They need men who aren’t threatened by their strength and will support their goals.

So, they say that dominant women need “collaborative” men, those men who think that the wife’s priorities should dominate. Would they say the same about a traditional man? What if he wants his priorities to dominate? He is most likely called a jerk, domineering or abusive whereas a dominant woman has “strength and confidence.” Hmmm.

Heavy Metal Rockers

April 17th, 2014 - 3:25 pm

I am often amazed at how many talented and resourceful professionals read this blog or my husband Glenn’s blog and let us know the amazing things they are doing. I recently acquired two beautiful heavy metal rocking chairs that my friend Hodge Golson, a business psychologist designed with the help of artist Andrew Crawford. Here is what Hodge had to say about his vision:

Many years ago I stumbled across a metal rocking chair that was as much a piece of sculpture as furniture. It was an immediate emotional reaction. I loved it. But would it be comfortable? Amazingly so, I discovered as I settled into it and rocked a bit. But I couldn’t afford the $3,000 price tag. Although I left the chair in the store, I couldn’t let go of it….

Serendipity introduced me to Andrew Crawford, a blacksmith sculptor who was eager to take on the project. As a point of reference, he pointed me in the direction of Sam Maloof, an artist he had known who had quite a professional career designing and building great wooden rockers. So I designed my own version of my original obsession.

I have to say the chairs are amazing, beautiful, comfortable and a piece of art that have wowed everyone that has seen them. If you want to check them out, you can take a look at the website at


April 17th, 2014 - 1:35 pm

Christina Hoff Sommers: Ban Bossy: Does it have the facts straight?

As a lifelong curmudgeon, I was intrigued to read Charles Murray’s new book The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life. It’s a fun little guide to help people in their teens and twenties get ahead in life. I have already had a pretty good run of it as far as life goes but figured it’s never too late to learn something.

What I learned as I flipped through the chapter “On Thinking and Writing Well” is that my writing style probably sucks and I have broken nearly every rule that Murray outlined. He has you get together a “toolkit” of resources such as The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition or William Zinnser’s On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction as resources. I have never used them.

He gives a short primer to readers with a list of “serious” errors that may lead someone to think you are “hopeless.” I’m pretty sure I have made every one of those errors. For example, I have used the word “disinterested” to mean uninterested. However, Murray admits that even the Washington Post and other major publications do this so maybe my error is not so bad. Murray does not agree: “If we lose the distinctive meaning of the word, we have measurably degraded our ability to express ourselves in English.” Yikes! I have also used which instead of that, put an apostrophe in its by mistake and have probably confused affect with effect.

I guess as a psychologist and semi-writer, I view “serious” errors differently. A serious error means that a person has a bad outcome or someone else does because you missed something. A serious error is not standing up for truth in gender relations or educating people that men are people too. Perhaps we all have our different views of what constitutes a “serious error.” However, I get Murray’s point. He wants writers to learn to convey their ideas clearly and to display proper English when doing so. But I must admit that I am not one of those sticklers who demand perfection when it comes to writing, especially on the web, though many would prefer this.

Do you?

Sexism Sent Me To the ER!

April 13th, 2014 - 9:45 am

I was sucked into watching the TLC show Sex Sent Me to the ER last night after flipping through the channels and realizing that this was the best I was going to do on a weekend night. If you have never watched the show (good for you), it has three or so couples, each describing how their sexual escapades sent them to the ER and an ER doc will also narrate the situation. In the episode last night, a couple like variety and decide to heat up a large gummy bear (made of sugar, of course) and the woman begs the guy to pour it on her chest and eat it off. He does and it gives her third degree burns and his mouth is burned. They head to the ER where he is blamed for hurting his girlfriend and is given shaming looks.

Another couple has consensual sex in a pool naked and the woman gets her toe ring caught in the drain. The guy has to pull her leg to free her foot and she screams and all of her friends run to the pool to see what is going on and ask her if her boyfriend is hurting her. She goes to the ER where she is afraid of being shamed and tells her boyfriend that she is angry that he made her do it. Really? This lady looked to weigh over 300 pounds. Is she so weak that she cannot say no to sex in a pool? This nonsense where women and society pretend women are coerced into sex and men are the perps is getting old.

Another segment showed a man hauled into the ER on a gurney. He says he was “cleaning” and fell 30 feet from a window. He has broken a number of bones and the hospital calls his wife even though he does not want her there. A crazy frizzy-haired woman comes in and upon hearing from police that there looked to be more than cleaning going on, starts beating her husband.

The doctor passively stands back while his patient is beaten and talks about how he does not want to get involved. Finally, security is called and the wife is hauled away. The man has a heart attack and tells the doctor the truth: he had a hooker, was doing cocaine, tried to write a check but the hooker got angry and threw him naked from a third floor window. The doctor hopes he has learned his lesson. Wow, imagine if a man for any reason threw a woman from three floors. And would the doc have stood back if a woman was being beaten by a husband for cheating? Somehow, I doubt it.

Why are the men blamed and shamed for anything that goes wrong in a sexual encounter? Women are active participants as you can see if you watch the video below (about the couple and the gummy bear) but somehow, it is always just the man’s fault.

Generation Rex

April 11th, 2014 - 2:08 pm

I saw this NY Post article (via Drudge) about women having dogs instead of having kids:

America’s next generation of youngsters should be called “Generation Rex.”

If you’re wondering why playgrounds around the city are so quiet and dog runs are packed, a new report has an answer: More and more US women are forgoing motherhood and getting their maternal kicks by owning handbag-size canines.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a big drop in the number of babies born to women ages 15 to 29 corresponds with a huge increase in the number of tiny pooches owned by young US women, reports the business-news site Quartz….

“I’d rather have a dog over a kid,” declared Sara Foster, 30, a Chelsea equities trader who says her French bulldog, Maddie, brings her more joy than a child.

“It’s just less work and, honestly, I have more time to go out. You . . . don’t have to get a baby sitter.”

The federal data behind the report show that over the past seven years, the number of live births per 1,000 women between ages 15 and 29 in America has plunged 9 percent.

Given that fewer and fewer men want to marry, I wonder how much of this dog substitute for a child is because fewer men want to marry and there are fewer choices for partners for women? Or have women just bought into the feminist propaganda that life with a dog is just better? Maybe it is for now, but will it always be?

This article says that “in the U.S., 40 percent of women near the end of their childbearing years have fewer children than they would like”:

So what’s driving this gap between ideal and actual family size? Among others things, delays in childbearing, which may be caused by increases in educational attainment, or by the lack of a suitable partner, may play a role. Starting childbearing at a later age means that there are fewer years for a woman to meet her fertility ideals, plus it increases the risk of age-related infertility.

Are women really happy being dog owners for life or is it a phase? What about when they are 40? Will Fluffy be enough?


Crossposted at PJ Lifestlye

April 11th, 2014 - 6:58 am

Women for Men: Two different versions of The Mask You Live In.

I have been thinking about this lately after a reader of my book pointed out to me that he felt prostitution should be made legal in order to give men more freedom from marriage and being tied down to a relationship in the hopes of getting sex. If prostitution were legal, men could get sex more readily and not be so dependent on getting involved with women. Given how dangerous it can be these days for men, between being called a rapist, a sexual harasser or a pervert, it makes sense that legal prostitution might be a good solution for some men that want to avoid the risks inherent in taking on a wife or long term (or short term) relationship with a woman. I looked at a couple of articles about why prostitution was illegal and found this article at Slate:

In 1999, Sweden made it legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it—only the johns and the traffickers can be prosecuted. This is the only approach to prostitution that’s based on “sex equality,” argues University of Michigan law professor Catherine MacKinnon.

It treats prostitution as a social evil but views the women who do it as the victims of sexual exploitation who “should not be victimized again by the state by being made into criminals,” as MacKinnon put it to me in an e-mail. It’s the men who use the women, she continued, who are “sexual predators” and should be punished as such.

….Sweden’s way of doing things is a big success. “In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%.” Trafficking is reportedly down to 200 to 400 girls and women a year, compared with 15,000 to 17,000 in nearby Finland. Max Waltman, a doctoral candidate in Stockholm who is studying the country’s prostitution laws, says that those stats hold up. He also said the police are actually going after the johns as ordered: In 2006, more than 150 were convicted and fined. (That might not sound like many, but then Sweden has a population of only 9 million.)

For feminists like MacKinnon (with whom Waltman works), this sure looks like the solution: Go after the men! Take down Eliot Spitzer and leave the call girls alone! On the other hand, the group SANS, for Sex Workers and Allies Network in Sweden, doesn’t like the 1999 law.

My question after reading this mind-numbing drivel? How can it be legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it? Who are you selling sex to if no men are allowed to buy it? Of course, any time one sees a feminist of the Catherine MacKinnon ilk, all logic goes out the window as long as men are rounded up and put in jail. This is sick, twisted logic and has no place in a free society. It was a group of women who apparently banned prostitution in the US according to this Wikipedia entry:

Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United States. Prostitution was made illegal in almost all states between 1910 and 1915 largely due to the influence of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

Perhaps women don’t want the competition from prostitutes for resources from men? Or they just feel disgusted that a man might be able to get sex so easily? I do wonder if men were able to go freely to prostitutes without fear of jail time if it would free them sexually from female and (and state) control? Or do you think there would be more problems caused by it?