Is Patient-Physician Gender Concordance Related to the Quality of Patient Care Experiences?

J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Oct;36(10):3058-3063. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06411-y. Epub 2021 Jan 19.


Background: There is great interest in identifying factors that are related to positive patient experiences such as physician communication style. Documented gender-specific physician communication and patient behavior differences raise the question of whether gender concordant relationships (i.e., both the provider and patient share the same gender) might affect patient experiences.

Objective: Assess whether patient experiences are more positive in gender concordant primary care relationships.

Design: Statewide telephone surveys. Linear mixed regression models to estimate the association of CAHPS scores with patient gender and gender concordance.

Subjects: Two probability samples of primary care Medicaid patients in Connecticut in 2017 (5/17-7/17) and 2019 (7/19-10/19).

Main measures: Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey augmented with questions about aspects of care most salient to PCMH-designated organizations and two questions to assess access to mental health services.

Key results: There were no significant effects of gender concordance and differences in experiences by patient gender were modest.

Conclusions: This study did not support the suggestion that patient and physician gender and gender concordance have an important effect on patient experiences.

Keywords: CAHPS; gender concordance; patient experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians*
  • United States