When it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon, how much does the physician’s gender weigh into the choice? A study published recently in Aesthetic Surgery Journal may provide some answers.

According to the study, among all of the female participants, nearly half—46%—had no gender preference, 26% requested a female surgeon, 1% requested a male surgeon, and 27% requested a specific doctor.

These findings indicate that most patients have no gender preference, but if they do, most of them prefer a female doctor. This data is consistent with similar studies done in other specialties, particularly among female patients, notes a media release from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

In addition, among the 27% of participants who requested a specific physician, slightly more (54%) requested a male surgeon than a female surgeon (46%) by name, indicating that a surgeon’s reputation is more important than his or her gender.

More highlights from the study, according to the ASAPS release, include:

  • Female patients’ preference for female doctors may be related to both greater comforts with intimate exams as well as to communication style between female doctors.
  • Visits between female doctors and female patients are longer than when different genders meet for doctor-patient appointments. Other studies have confirmed that women spend more time with patients and engage in a partnership-building style, showing more concern and empathy—asking more about patients’ emotions.
  • All patients in this study were women, mirroring the nationwide statistic that 90% of cosmetic surgical procedures are performed on women.

[Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery]