Impact of Patient Gender and Race on Patient Satisfaction within the Physician Patient Interaction

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Kathleen Wiggins

Committee Member

Jennifer Harris

Committee Member

Alynicia Bowen


The prevalence of health disparities among minorities is linked to low health literacy, implicit biases, mistrust, and unfavorable outcomes among disadvantaged populations (Nadeem & Kaiser, 2022). This issue stresses the need for improved provider patient interactions which are described as trustworthy relationships that are characterized by active listening, time spent interacting, and shared decision-making to achieve advances in health literacy (Rockwell et al., 2022). There is a gap in the literature on how race, gender and patient satisfaction affect the patient clinician interaction. This study addresses this gap by examining the impact of patient gender and race on patient satisfaction within the physician patient interaction. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data from 2017 to 2018 was analyzed using t-tests and multiple linear regression analysis. This analysis had a total of 4553 responses, 1938 males (43%) 2615 female (57%) 946 Black non-Hispanic (20.78%) and 3607 White non-Hispanic (79.22%) respondents. Overall, no significant differences exist between a patients’ perception of whether a provider explained medical options based on the patients’ gender nor ethnicity. The analysis also found that significant differences exist between a patients’ perception of whether a provider showed respect based on the patients’ gender or ethnicity. Statistically more females than males indicated that their physician showed respect from them. Additionally, more Black non-Hispanics than White non-Hispanics were shown to statistically indicate that their physician showed them respect. To truly understand trends connected with patient and provider perspectives as they relate to patient satisfaction, future research should focus on broader societal implications by obtaining demographic information on the physicians’ gender and ethnicity.