Patient preference for physician gender in the emergency department

Haley A. Nolen, Justin Xavier Moore, Joel B. Rodgers, Henry E. Wang, Lauren A. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Despite historical gender bias against female physicians, few studies have investigated patients’ physician gender preference in the emergency department (ED†) setting. We sought to determine if there is an association between ED patient demographics and physician gender preference. We surveyed patients presenting to an ED to determine association between patient demographics and patient physician gender preference for five ED situations: 1) ‘routine’ visit, 2) emergency visit, 3) ‘sensitive’ medical visit, 4) minor surgical/‘procedural’ visit, and 5) ‘bad news’ delivery. A total of 200 ED patients were surveyed. The majority of ED patients reported no physician gender preference for ‘routine’ visits (89.5 percent), ‘emergent’ visits (89 percent), ‘sensitive’ medical visits (59 percent), ‘procedural’ visits (89 percent) or when receiving ‘bad news’ (82 percent). In the setting of ‘routine’ visits and ‘sensitive’ medical visits, there was a propensity for same-sex physician preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency department
  • Gender studies
  • Patient preference
  • Physician gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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