Johnson AM, Schnatz PF, Kelsey AM, Ohannessian CM. Do Women Prefer Care From Female or Male Obstetrician-Gynecologists? A Study of Patient Gender Preference. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2005;105(8):369-379. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2005.105.8.369.
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Objective: To determine whether men should be encouraged to enter the medical specialty of obstetrics and gynecology.
Methods: A self-administered survey was designed for and distributed to patients (N=264) in 13 obstetrics and gynecology waiting rooms in Connecticut. The survey was used to determine whether there were any patient preferences with regard to the gender of physicians providing obstetric and gynecologic care within this population. In addition, the rationale for any preferences was analyzed.
Results: The majority of patients (66.6%) had no gender bias when selecting an obstetrician-gynecologist, and an even larger majority (198, 80.8%) felt that physician gender does not influence quality of care. There was no statistical difference in patient satisfaction based on physician sex. Respondents self-reporting gender bias rarely selected obstetrician-gynecologists based solely on this factor and frequently choose physicians of the sex that was not their indicated preference, suggesting that several factors other than gender preference are more important in physician selection.
Conclusions: The majority of women surveyed did not select their obstetrician-gynecologists based solely on physician gender. Although a small percentage of survey respondents did indicate a gender preference, it rarely influenced physician selection and was only a minor consideration when compared with other desirable physician attributes.
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