Choosing a family physician. What do patients want to know?

S. Engstrom, D. J. Madlon-Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


What type of information do patients find valuable when choosing a family physician? At a suburban Midwestern clinic, 221 adults rated the value of 12 demographic items and eight attributes pertaining to physicians. Of the demographic information, board certification was most valued by respondents; all personal attributes listed were rated very highly. Although 44% of women preferred a female physician, 93% of women agreed that, in general, male and female family physicians are equally competent. In summary, a physician's personal attributes and characteristics are of most importance to consumers when choosing a family physician. With the exception of board certification status, information about a physician's training or demographics is of much less value to patients. In addition, the information identified as most important in the survey is not typically provided by managed care organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalMinnesota medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1998


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