How Should Physicians Respond When Patients Distrust Them Because of Their Gender?

AMA J Ethics. 2017 Apr 1;19(4):332-339. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.4.ecas2-1704.


There are many reasons why gender-concordant care benefits patients and is requested by them. For training hospitals, however, such requests present challenges as well as opportunities in providing patient-centered care. Responding to a case in which a female patient who is having a routine exam refuses care from a male medical student, we discuss ethical principles involved in gender-concordant care requests, when it is appropriate to question such requests, and a team-based approach to responding to them.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians / ethics*
  • Prejudice*
  • Students, Medical
  • Trust*