Primary Care Delivery Perceptions and Their Associations with Physician and Patient Gender

Hannah M. Lodin, Sophie Bersoux, Rahul Pannala, Lanyu Mi, Suneela Vegunta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: We aim to survey patients’ opinions on perceived differences in patient care delivered by male and female physicians. Methods: Patients of primary care practices at Mayo Clinic, Arizona completed a survey sent through the electronic health record. The survey evaluated opinion regarding their primary care physician (PCP)’s overall healthcare provision capabilities and any perceived differences based on gender. Results: 4983 patients’ responses were included in final analysis. Compared to male patients, most female patients preferred to have a female PCP (78.1% vs. 32.7%, p < 0.01). Having a preference for female physicians was correlated with higher overall opinion of female physicians. The majority of male patients did not hold a difference in opinion regarding male versus female physicians (p < 0.01). Male patients were half as likely to have a better opinion and nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a worse opinion of female physicians (p < 0.01) compared to female patients. Patients preferring female physicians were nearly 3 times more likely to have a better opinion of female physicians compared to patients with no preference (p < 0.01). Conclusion: In a primary care setting, majority of female patients compared to male patients preferred female physicians as their PCP and had higher opinion of the care delivery of female physicians. These findings may influence how practices should assign primary care physicians to new patients and add underlying context to patient satisfaction ratings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-717
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Care delivery
  • Gender
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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