This study was carried out in the framework of a wider research project concerning the degree of patient satisfaction with the various types of primary health care. We have studied the relationship among the gender of the doctor, the gender of the patient and the type of primary health care center involved. In 1 type of primary care center (health centers) the medical staff work as a team, whereas in the other (ambulatory care services), the doctor works alone. The survey was conducted among 86 doctors and 860 patients from urban areas in Andalusia, Spain. The degree of patient satisfaction was tested on Likert scales. Both male and female patients attended by female doctors were more satisfied than those attended by male doctors (P < 0.005). Both male and female patients were attended in equal proportions by both male and female doctors (P > 0.20). Overall patient satisfaction values were not affected by the patient's gender (P > 0.40). In comparing overall satisfaction among patients according with the doctor's gender and type of primary health care center, there was a greater degree of satisfaction with female doctors working in health centers (P < 0.01) and no difference existed in ambulatory care services in this area.