Perspectives and preferences among the general public regarding physician selection and board certification

J Pediatr. 2010 May;156(5):841-5, 845.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.11.055. Epub 2010 Feb 6.


Objectives: To characterize parental attitudes regarding board certification and other factors that influence selection of physicians to care for children.

Study design: A web-based survey administered in 2008 to a random sample of 3621 adults >or=18 years of age stratified by parents and non-parents. Proportion of respondents who view board certification and other measures of quality as important factors in selecting a physician to care for children.

Results: Survey completion rate was 62%. Almost all (95%) believe it is important or very important for doctors who care for children to be assessed on their quality of care, receive high ratings from patients (91%), and pass a written test at regular intervals (88%). Most reported that recommendations from friends or family (84%) and board certification (82%) were important or very important factors in choosing a physician for their child. Seventy-seven percent of parents stated that they would be likely to change their child's physician if he/she did not maintain board certification.

Conclusion: Parents report a preference for board-certified physicians and expect them to participate in Maintenance of Certification. Greater understanding of quality measures and the board certification process would empower consumers to make more informed decisions in selecting a physician for their children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Certification*
  • Child
  • Choice Behavior
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Physicians, Family / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States
  • Young Adult