Original Article

Female Patients' Sex Preferences in Selection of Gynecologists and Surgeons

Authors: Alex J. Childs, MD, Wayne H. Friedman, MD, Meyer P. Schwartz, MD, Maribeth Johnson, MS, Anthony B. Royek, MD


Objectives: In this study, the authors investigated sex preferences for gynecologists and surgeons among female patients, and explored potential contributing factors.

Methods: One hundred forty-six female patients were surveyed in a private practice office concerning their sex preferences and past obstetric/gynecologic care. For data comparisons, χ2 or Fisher exact tests were used.

Results: Gynecologist sex preferences were similar between male (30%), female (35%), and no sex preferences (35%). Patients who had a female obstetrician at their first delivery or began their gynecologic care with a female were more likely to prefer a female gynecologist. Multiparous patients were more likely to state no preference for a gynecologist. There were no statistical differences in sex preferences when patients were stratified by age, race, educational background, age of first gynecologist visit, or the age at their first delivery. About half of the patients (51%) stated that they preferred a male surgeon; only 3% preferred a female surgeon, and 46% stated they had no preference.

Conclusions: Our investigation demonstrated that women's preferences for a gynecologist were divided equally between preferring a male, a female, and having no preference. Our study did find, however, that about half of the female patients preferred a male surgeon.

Key Points

* Female patients are similarly divided between a male preference (30%), female preference (35%), or no sex preference (35%) for a gynecologist.

* About half (51%) of all patients surveyed preferred a male surgeon; only 3% preferred a female surgeon, and 46% stated no preference.

* Patients who had a female obstetrician during their first delivery or began their gynecologic care with a female are more likely to prefer a female gynecologist; multiparous patients are more likely to state no preference.

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