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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-34

Does physicians' gender have any influence on patients' choice of their treating physicians?


1 Department of General Surgery, Airedale General Hospital, West Yorkshire, United Kingdome
2 Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Medical Intern, Collage of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, King Fahad Medical City, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ghadah Alyahya
Department of General Surgery, Airedale General Hospital, West Yorkshire
United Kingdome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_28_18

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether physicians' gender has any influence on patients' choice of their treating physician. Methods: A survey was conducted in different public places in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to determine preferences for the gender of a physician under various health-care aspects. Results: Three thousand and fifteen people participated in this cross-sectional survey. The majority of participants had no gender preference regarding their physician's attitude and professional competence. However, 49.8% of the female participants preferred a female physician and 37.4% of the male participants preferred a male physician when discussing family and psychological problems. Regarding general and genital examination, 65.8% and 86.4% of women and 53% and 67.5% of men, respectively, preferred to be examined by a physician of their same gender. The majority of women preferred a female physician during breast examination (90.1%) and delivery (71.4%). With regard to medical specialties, men preferred a male general surgeon (48.6%), male urologist (65.1%), and male orthopedic surgeon (54.4%). On the other hand, women preferred a female urologist (58.1%) and had no gender preference regarding their general surgeon (48.1%) and orthopedic surgeon (51.4%). Conclusion: Findings of this study highlight the difference in participants' choice for the gender of their treating physician in different medical specialties. Women participants preferred a female physician for psychosocial counseling and when visiting a gynecologist, obstetrician, or urologist. In addition, women of childbearing age favored a female physician during delivery. Men preferred a physician of the same gender when being treated by a urologist, general surgeon, or orthopedic surgeon.


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