Issues underlying prevalence of "doctor-shopping" behavior

J Health Soc Behav. 1976 Dec;17(4):329-39.


Data were collected on all persons within a sample of upper-and lower-income households who had seen physicians for illness episodes within a year prior to the interview. Forty-eight percent of upper-and 37 percent of lower-income families in the sample had changed doctors because of dissatisfaction with some aspect of the care. Factors related to tendency to shop for doctors in both upper-and lower-income groups were a lack of confidence in doctors' competence, unwillingness of doctors to spend time talking with patients, hostile feelings toward doctors, high cost of services, inconvenience of location and hours, and unfavorable attitudes toward doctors' personal qualities. Hypochondriasis was related to doctorshopping in the upper-income group. Results of this investigation suggest that patients may be becoming more discriminating in their choice of physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Decision Making*
  • Fees, Medical
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Personality
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians*
  • Quality of Health Care