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April 25, 1966

How the Patient Selects His Physician

JAMA. 1966;196(4):39. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100170025011

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How do persons who have just moved into a community go about selecting a physician?

In Wichita, two University of Kansas researchers report, 62% of new residents surveyed had turned to neighbors, co-workers or other nonprofessional sources for physician selection information.

Other findings which so far have come from survey data include:

  • Selection of a physician was made within a month of arrival by 53%, and more than 90% had made a selection within four months;

  • Wives made 74% of the physician-selection decisions, husbands 11%, and the rest were said to have been made jointly;

  • Predominant characteristics of those (62%) who turned to personal, nonprofessional sources for physician-selection information were: age 35 or younger, middle of the socioeconomic spectrum (based on address, occupation) and tended not to select a physician until the second or third month;

  • Those (23%) relying on nonpersonal data such as location of

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