Women's College Research Institute

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Cornelia (Cory) Borkhoff, PhD

Adjunct Scientist, Women's College Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto


Dr. Cory Borkhoff evaluates the practicality and effectiveness of using clinical decision aids to help patients and physicians make shared treatment decisions. The goal of her work is to reduce gender disparity in clinical treatments, particularly regarding total joint arthroplasty. Dr. Borkhoff works to develop effective interventions – and the tools to measure their effectiveness – to improve health care quality and reduce disparities in the care of disadvantaged populations.

Her unique research focuses on interventions that target the health care provider, rather than the patient. In addition, Dr. Borkhoff studies disparities in cancer screening services at the neighbourhood level in Ontario using area-based methods. 

Dr. Borkhoff is currently funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). As the principal investigator on a grant from the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, she is using a customized implicit association test to evaluate gender bias in physicians’ decision-making. 

Dr. Borkhoff completed the first study to demonstrate that gender influences physicians’ treatment recommendations in actual clinical practice, using standardized or "mystery" patients.  She found that physicians were less likely to recommend total knee replacement surgery when the patient was a woman compared to a man. The findings of this study appeared in the March 11, 2008 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Supported by the Canadian Arthritis Network and the CIHR, this important work received recognition as one of the Top 10 success stories in the 10th Anniversary special issue of Intersections, the newsletter of the CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health.

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