Background: The rise in consumer-centric health insurance plans has increased the importance of the patient in choosing a provider. There is a paucity of studies that examine how patients select an orthopaedic sports medicine physician. Purpose: To evaluate factors that patients consider when choosing an orthopaedic sports medicine physician. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A total of 1077 patients who sought treatment by 3 sports medicine physicians were administered an anonymous questionnaire. The questionnaire included 19 questions asking respondents to rate the importance of specific factors regarding the selection of orthopaedic sports medicine physicians on a scale of 1 (not important at all) to 10 (very important). The remaining 6 questions were multiple-choice and regarded the following criteria: preferred physician age, appointment availability, clinic waiting room times, travel distance, and medical student/resident involvement. Results: Of the 1077 consecutive patients administered the survey, 382 (35%) responded. Of these, 59% (n = 224) were male, and 41% (n = 158) were female. In ranking the 19 criteria in terms of importance, patients rated board certification (9.12 ± 1.88), being well known for a specific area of expertise (8.27 ± 2.39), and in-network provider status (8.13 ± 2.94) as the 3most important factors in selecting an orthopaedic sports medicine physician. Radio, television, and Internet advertisements were rated the least important. Regarding physician age, 63% of patients would consider seeking a physician who is ≤65 years old. Approximately 78% of patients would consider seeking a different physician if no appointments were available within 4 weeks. Conclusion: The study results suggest that board certification, being well known for a specific area of expertise, and health insurance in-network providers may be the most important factors influencing patient selection of an orthopaedic sports medicine physician. Advertisements were least important to patients. Patient preferences varied regarding ideal physician age, clinic appointment availability, medical student/resident involvement, and travel distance in choosing an orthopaedic sports medicine physician. In the context of health care delivery and as reimbursement becomes increasingly consumer centered, understanding the process of provider selection is important.
- Economic and decision analysis
- General sports trauma
- Medical aspects of sports
- Psychological aspects of sport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine