ABSTRACT Background and objectives: The medical care that doctors receive is different than that of individuals who are not in the medical profession. The objective was to assess how family doctors in the Negev region chose their own doctors. Methods: 103 family doctors in the southern region of Israel completed a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire that included sociodemographic data and how doctors choose their own doctors. Results: The study population included 103 family doctors with a mean age of 44.7±9.8, of them 65 women (63.1%). Most of the participants (69.9%) were born in the former Soviet Union and completed their medical studies there (71.8%). Thirty two (31.4%) were specialists in family medicine and 42 (41.2%) were residents in family medicine. For most of the participants the gender and age of their treating physician were not important (74.8% and 63.1%, respectively). The treating physician’s level of expertise was very important to 87.4%. Only half consulted a colleague before choosing a physician. Their personal connection to the treating physician was very important to 46 (44.7%). Female doctors were more likely to choose a female physician com-pared to males (P=0.025). Residents were more likely to consult a colleague than specialists before choosing a treating physician (P=0.023). Female doctors are more likely than male to care for themselves both for chronic and acute conditions. Conclusions: Choosing a treating physician is a subjective process with each doctor having individual requirements and ex-pectations. The factors that most influenced the choice of treating physician were professional skills and specialization.
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