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D. Do Patients Prefer Doctors of a Certain Gender or Ethnicity?

Narrator:Do you care whether your doctor is a certain race or gender? This is Science Today. Barbara Gerbert of the University of California, San Francisco, led a team of researchers who studied whether patients prefer to have a doctor of the same gender or ethnicity. She explains the motivation behind the study of ethnic preferences.

Gerbert: We were concerned because we were working in settings in which there were people of various ethnicities and people speaking a number of languages and we wanted to know if patients had a preference for the race of their doctor.

Narrator: The results of the study showed a surprising difference between gender and ethnic preferences.

Gerbert: Almost 80% preferred a woman doctor-but regarding race people were very willing to choose people, doctors, of varying ethnicities, varying races, if they found someone with good communication skills, a warm, kind doctor.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.