Primary Care Doctors: Does Gender Matter?

Finding a doctor to serve as your primary care physician, or PCP, is an important step on your health and wellness journey. But does it matter whether your doctor is a man or a woman?

Personal preference

Polls show that most people don’t care whether their doctor is the same gender as they are. A YouGov survey found that 46% of women didn’t care whether their doctor was a man or a woman, while 31% said they would prefer a woman doctor. Among men, 58% said they didn’t care, while 23% would rather see a male doctor. 

For both men and women, “no preference” was the most common answer. 

What if you would prefer to see a same-sex doctor? You should feel free to choose a physician with whom you feel comfortable. If that means choosing a male or female doctor in particular, that’s fine. 

Available doctors

However, there are no rules requiring hospitals or clinics to have both male and female doctors. Some medical facilities don’t let you choose a particular doctor, and they are not required to have a male or female doctor available at all times. You have the right to decide not to visit with the doctor who is available and you can ask for an appointment with a male or female physician, but the clinic does not have to honor your request.


Some patients who want to see a doctor of a particular gender are giving in to stereotypes. They may believe that women are more empathetic than men, or that male doctors have more experience. A little more than one-third of all the practicing doctors in the United States are women, and both male and female doctors hone their communication skills.

However, the most common reason for choosing a physician of the same gender is  embarrassment. Some women prefer a female gynecologist and some men prefer a male urologist because of discomfort with talking about these subjects with a doctor of the opposite sex. 

Regardless of your reasons, you can choose a doctor with whom you feel most comfortable.

Most MANA clinics have both male and female health professionals on staff. All MANA doctors are highly qualified, compassionate professionals, accustomed to working with a wide variety of patients. 

MANA Family Medicine Springdale now has a female option for your PCP. Physician Assistant Cori Steele has joined the team and is now accepting new patients.