Word of Mouth Still Tops Ways People Find Physicians

Young people, aged 18 to 29, use word of mouth more than any other group

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly three-quarters of young adults use personal recommendations to select a physician, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) conducted an online survey looking at how Americans (1,099 respondents) choose their health care providers. Data were presented at OMED 2013, the Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition.

The AOA found that more people aged 18 to 29 years used word of mouth to select a physician (77 percent, versus 64.6 percent of all respondents). Only 16.2 percent of the young respondents relied upon physician rating websites, compared with 19 percent of all respondents. The majority of all respondents (83.2 percent) cited physician participation in the patient's insurance plan to be the most important consideration. Just under half of all participants used insurance provider directories to select physicians. In the past five years, one in three respondents changed their physician, with roughly one-third citing either moving or "didn't feel the physician was a good fit" as the reason.

"Since it is important people have a positive relationship with their physician, it makes sense that they contact those whom they already have relationships with, like family and friends, to get feedback when selecting a physician," said Jennifer N. Caudle, D.O., from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, N.J., according to the Medical Economics article.

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