“Real-world” pediatric endocrine practice; how much is it influenced by physician's gender and region of practice. Results of an international survey

Keren Smuel, Yonatan Yeshayahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether hormonal treatments for frequent clinical cases (short stature, delayed and precocious puberty) are prescribed strictly according to clinical guidelines or based on personal tendencies, and whether the decisions correlate with physician's personal demographics (age, sex, and place of practice). Methods: Cross-sectional survey, with made-up clinical cases, distributed to pediatric endocrinologists using 2 web-based professional forums, Israeli and an international. The questionnaire included 8 clinical cases and 5 demographic questions regarding the physician. Differences in practice between Israeli and international endocrinologists were assessed, and correlation between the physician's gender and their decisions regarding treatment. Results: One hundred fifty-five physicians responded, 28% Israeli and 72% international. In girls with early puberty, 60% of international and 26% of Israeli physicians chose not to treat with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist. In girls with short stature, 79% of Israeli and 34% of international physicians offered growth hormone treatment. In girls with early puberty, both male and female physicians responded similarly in the international group, but in the Israeli group 47% of male and 15% of female doctors would not treat. In girls with constitutional growth delay, 67% of Israeli male doctors would not treat with growth hormone compared to 30% of Israeli female physicians. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated significant practice differences between Israeli and international pediatric endocrinologists. Within the Israeli group, significant practice differences were seen between male and female physicians. Given that Israeli physicians follow the same clinical guidelines it is clear that a large “grey zone” of clinical cases exist and much of the decisions on treatment are personal and influenced by personal beliefs or gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866-869
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical audit
  • clinical guidelines
  • health services research


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