Medical doctors' perceptions of psychologists as health professional partners in the Pietermaritzburg region.
Qwabe, Bongiwe Rejoice.
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This study seeks to investigate perceptions of medical doctors towards psychologists. The study focuses on exploring whether race and gender have any influence on medical doctors’ perceptions of psychology. In exploring these perceptions, the study focuses on medical doctors’ knowledge of the psychology profession. Secondly, it focuses on medical doctors’ experiences in working with psychologists. Thirdly, it examines medical doctors’ referral patterns towards psychologists. Finally, it focuses on the kinds of problems that medical doctors are likely to refer to psychologists. This was a quantitative study. The population of this study was medical doctors from both public and private sectors in the Pietermaritzburg region. The sampling method used in this study was convenience sampling. The study was conducted on sixty-two medical doctors. Thirty-four males and twenty-eight females participated in this study. Thirty-two Whites, twenty Indians, seven Blacks, two Coloureds and one Chinese participated in this study. Questionnaires were used as data gathering instruments. In analyzing data, a chi-square test was used. Chi-square analysis was performed at 0.05 percent level of significant association. The findings indicated that medical doctors hold positive views towards psychologists and the psychology profession. The participants seemed to have a good understanding of what the psychology profession entails. The findings also seemed to suggest that medical doctors understand the overall scope of psychologists. Overall findings suggest that there were no significant associations between medical doctors’ responses and their race and gender. This seems to be an area that has not been researched and it therefore serves as a pilot study.