How Does Gender Matter When Choosing a Family Medicine Doctor?

Family Medicine

When choosing a family medicine doctor, there is a lot that needs to be considered. From location to experience, there are many factors to take into account when making your decision. One of these elements is the gender of the family medicine doctor.

It’s easy to assume that females are better off with female doctors, and men are better off seeing male doctors, but is this too simplistic? Does gender matter when choosing a doctor? Continue reading to discover everything you need to know.

What is a family medicine doctor?

Before we delve further into patient gender preferences for medical care, let’s take a look at what a family medicine doctor actually does.

Unlike other specialties that are restricted to a certain disease or organ, a family physician is the only specialist that is qualified to treat the majority of ailments and provide comprehensive medical care for individuals of any age, from newborns to seniors.

How gender matters when choosing a family medicine doctor

So, let’s answer the question; does gender matter when choosing a doctor? There are a number of different studies that have shown that gender matters in different ways when choosing a family medicine doctor. Let’s take a look at this in more depth below:

Statistics show that we do have a preference

When delving into male vs female doctors statistics, we can see that both men and women aged between 18 and 24 years old prefer a female doctor. However, as we get older, we do not seem to be as fussed about the gender of our physicians. The same research indicates that 46 percent of women would rather have a female doctor.

Stereotypes are still playing a role

Sadly, we are seeing that stereotypes still play a role today. Ruchi Garg, MD, Gynecologic Oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Atlanta, has stated that she has had patients switch to a male doctor because they believe that men have more experience.

Females prefer being examined by a female

In a study of breast cancer patients, it was revealed that 32 percent of patients prefer to be examined by a female specialist because they feel more comfortable. Respondents cited that embarrassment during the examination was their primary reason for wanting a female doctor in this instance.

Males also prefer to be examined by men

It is not only females who have this preference to be examined by the same sex in these circumstances. In a study of males with suspected prostate disease, it was revealed that 55 percent prefer to have treatment from a male doctor. One of the main reasons for this is that some men find it uncomfortable to be examined for certain conditions, such as prostate disease and erectile dysfunction.

Moms tend to make family healthcare decisions

In families whereby both a mom and dad are present, moms tend to make healthcare decisions, and so this can also be a factor when it comes to selecting a gender.

Finding the best family medicine doctor for you

One of the best ways to choose the right family doctor for your needs is to use a doctor search tool, such as the one provided by Doc360°. You can search for a family medicine doctor in your location, and you can then narrow down your search based on factors such as gender, experience, and qualifications, as well as viewing an aggregate rating for the doctor.

Choose a doctor you feel comfortable with

We hope that this post has helped to shed some light on topics such as should a male have a female doctor and vice versa. Ultimately, it is all about choosing a doctor you feel comfortable with. Their communication style and approach are just as important as their gender. Healthcare is personal, so make the decision that feels right for you.