The Impact of a Plastic Surgeon’s Gender on Patient Choice


Background In the patient-driven market of aesthetic surgery, an understanding of the factors that patients consider in their choice of surgeon can inform the individual plastic surgeon's marketing strategy. Previous studies have investigated patient gender preferences for physicians in other specialties, but none has investigated whether patients consider gender when choosing a plastic surgeon. Objectives The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of a plastic surgeon's gender on patient choice. Methods A prospective study was conducted in a single private practice of two plastic surgeons, one male and one female, both closely matched in training, experience, and reputation. Two hundred consecutive patients calling for a consultation were asked if they preferred a male or female doctor; their preference, age, and area(s) of interest were recorded. Results All patients were women. Nearly half (46%) had no gender preference, 26% requested a female surgeon, and 1% requested a male. Preference for a female surgeon was significant (Binomial-test: P < 0.001). The remaining 27% requested a specific doctor, with slightly more requesting (53.7%) the male surgeon by name, than requested the female surgeon by name (46.3%), a difference that was not statistically significant (P = 0.683). Conclusions Most female patients interested in aesthetic surgery have no gender preference. Of those who do, nearly all requested a female plastic surgeon. More important than a plastic surgeon's gender, however, is a plastic surgeon's reputation.

DOI: 10.1093/asj/sjw180

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@inproceedings{Veld2017TheIO, title={The Impact of a Plastic Surgeon’s Gender on Patient Choice}, author={Eva A. Huis in ’t Veld and Francisco L. Canales and Heather J. Furnas}, booktitle={Aesthetic surgery journal}, year={2017} }