Objective: This study investigated women’s gender preferences for their obstetrician-gynecologist.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of participants (aged >14 years) visiting the obstetrics and gynecology clinics of King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah in March 2015. The main outcome measures included respondents’ gender preferences regarding their obstetrician-gynecologists and their ratings of the quality of care provided by male and female obstetrician-gynecologists.
Results: Of the 500 women invited, 418 accepted and participated in this survey (response rate, 83.6%). Approximately 52.6% of the respondents reported selecting their physicians. Most respondents preferred a female provider for pelvic examinations (77.1%), for new-born care (64.5%), for having primary health screening (61.2%), and for major gynecological surgery (47.0%). The most common factors that affected a woman’s decision when choosing a physician were comfort with a female practitioner (20.2%), husband's preference for a female doctor (11.7%), and the physician's knowledge (11.7%). The most important physician attribute that highly impacts women’s decisions is the experience of the physician (54.5%). Across all income levels, women were likely to consult a female obstetrician/gynecologist more often and for longer periods (p=0.010).
Conclusion: Women visiting the gynecology and obstetrics clinics of King Abdulaziz University Hospital prefer a female gynecologist-obstetrician.