Health  Vol.3 No.2 , February 2011
How do family doctors choose their own family doctor?
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.
Cite this paper: nullPeleg, R. , Magaziner, L. and Tamar, F. (2011) How do family doctors choose their own family doctor?. Health, 3, 123-127. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.32023.

[1]   Levy, M.A., Arnold, R.M., Fine, M.J. and Kapoor, W.N. (1993) Professional courtesy - current practices and attitudes. The New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 1627-1631. doi:10.1056/NEJM199311253292207

[2]   Rawnsley, K. (1989) Physician, don't heal thyself: let someone else try. Practitioner, 233, 891.

[3]   Rennert, M., Hageel, L., Epstein, L. and Shifroni, G. (1990) The care of family physicians and their families: a study of health and help-seeking behavior. Family Practice, 7, 96-99. doi:10.1093/fampra/7.2.96

[4]   Stoudemire, A. and Rhoads, J.M. (1983) When the doctors need a doctor: special consideration for the physician patient. Annals of Internal Medicine, 98, 654-659.

[5]   Hasin, M. (1994) Who takes care of the clinic health team? [Hebrew] Harefuah, 127, 527-529.

[6]   Peleg, A., Peleg, R., Porath, A. and Horowitz, Y. (1999) Hallway medicine: prevalence, characteristics and attitudes of hospital physicians. The Israel Medical Association Journal, 1, 241-244.

[7]   Ahmad, F., Gupta, H., Rawlins, J. and Stewart, D.E. (2002) Preferences for gender of family physician among Canadian European-descent and South-Asian immigrant women. Family Practice, 19, 146-153. doi:10.1093/fampra/19.2.146

[8]   Fung, C.H., Elliott, M.N., Hays, R.D., Kahn, K.L., Kanouse, D.E., McGlynn, E.A., Spranca, M.D. and Shekelle, P.G. (2005) Patients’ preferences for technical versus interpersonal quality when selecting a primary care physician. Health Services Research, 40, 957-977. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2005.00395.x

[9]   Kinchen, K.S., Cooper, L.A., Levine, D., Wang, N.Y. and Powe, N.R. (2004) Referral of patients to specialists: factors affecting choice of specialist by primary care physicians. Annals of Family Medicine, 2, 245-252. doi:10.1370/afm.68

[10]   Lancaster, W. and Boissoneau, R. (1990) Selecting a primary care physician: results of a study. Journal of Hospital Marketing, 5, 139- 151. doi:10.1300/J043v05n01_10

[11]   Hanna, N., Schoenbachler, D.D. and Gordon, G.L. (1994) Physician choice criteria: factors influencing patient selection of generalists versus specialists. Health Marketing Quarterly, 12, 29-42. doi:10.1300/J026v12n02_04

[12]   Menachem, S., Celichin, D., Celichin, N. and Shvartzman, P. (2008) Choosing a family physician in the polyclinics and what do patients want to know? [Hebrew] Harefuah, 12, 147.