Bedside manner trumps quality care: 8 stats on Americans' physician preference

When asked about the most important factor in distinguishing a high-quality physician, 59 percent of Americans focus on physician-patient relationships and personality, according a recent study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

On the other hand, just 11 percent of Americans place heavy value on a physician's ability to accurately diagnose and fix a problem.

The following are additional statistics and insight into what Americans look for in a provider, according to the study:

•    Only 8 percent of Americans mention a "knowledgeable" physician as an important factor in what makes a high-quality physician.
•    With regard to poor-quality physicians, 17 percent of Americans define them as those who do not listen or are inattentive.
•    Additionally, 10 percent of Americans feel that poor-quality physicians are those who do not spend enough time with patients.
•    How much time a physician spends with each patient is extremely or very important to 80 percent of Americans in choosing a provider.
•    Only 9 percent of Americans had responses related to health outcomes with regard to the definition of a poor-quality physician.
•    After a face-to-face meeting, the impression of a physician is extremely or very important for 81 percent of Americans when choosing a provider.

The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a random-digit-dial survey of the 50 states via telephone with 1,002 adults aged 18 and older.

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