I Prefer a Female Eye Doctor
Don’t feel silly or sheepish if you simply prefer a female eye doctor. In fact, you’re not alone. Kids often prefer the softer voice of a female, women often feel more comfortable speaking with another woman, and men may appreciate the approach of their female eye care professional. Studies consistently show children have a clear preference for seeing female doctors.
It’s clear, just as in any profession, the “the best” optometrists (or health care professionals in general) are the most knowledgeable, skilled and experienced. Yet people often do have a preference. These preferences have various foundations that may include past experiences, religion and culture. Often, patients can’t really explain it, it “just is” and feel a certain comfort level.
Here is some interesting research on female health care professionals, along with a discussion of why some people prefer that a female look after their eye care needs. See if you can relate to any of this.
Research on male versus female doctors
Keep in mind that most of the research out there is in relation to medical doctors, rather than eye doctors. But nonetheless, it still provides for some interesting food for thought.
Interestingly, a recent study published in the prominent journal, JAMA, showed that elderly patients in the hospital that were treated by female doctors had better outcomes. This New York Times article explains that many studies show that female physicians spend more time with patients, ask a higher number of psychosocial questions, offer more encouragement and reassurance, and allow patients to share in decision-making more than male physicians do.
Additionally, a study from the University of Montreal that was reported in Science Daily showed that female doctors tended to provide a higher quality of care than their male counterparts. Time discusses this at length, and points out that this might be because female doctors tend to spend more time with each patient than their male counterparts do. It goes without saying that having adequate time with your doctor to ask questions and express your concerns is of the utmost importance if you want to get the best possible outcomes for your health and well-being.
If all that’s the case, it’s no wonder many patients feel more comfortable with a female health care professional.
Other reasons for preferring a female eye doctor
Women sometimes prefer having an eye doctor of the same sex because they feel they’ll be able to better relate to their problems, personality, temperament, and preferences for care.
Young kids used to being home with their mom might feel less nervous about seeing a female eye doctor who reminds them of their mother. Kids in general often perceive the deeper tones of the male voice to be intimidating, so might be less nervous about going to the eye doctor if they’ll be seeing a woman instead.
Female patients may feel like another woman will get where they’re coming from better than a man can.
Lessons learned about deciding on a female eye doctor
The lesson to be taken away from all this is that if you feel more comfortable with a female eye care professional, that’s okay. But whatever sex your eye doctor may be, make sure you’re getting the care you need.
They should follow the latest practice guidelines, and if they don’t, they should have a good explanation for why not. They should be sure to give you ample opportunities to ask questions and ensure you understand their answer before you leave the office. You should feel encouraged by your doctor and leave their office feeling reassured and knowledgeable about your condition and why it’s being treated the way it is. Finally, it’s important that they don’t rush you through your appointments – after all, rushing means things are more likely to be missed and that can lead to mistakes or complications down the road.
The bottom line is, you should choose whatever eye doctor makes you feel the most comfortable. Once you’ve chosen the right one, make your next appointment for a visit!
If you live in the Oakville, Burlington or Milton area and are looking for a highly experienced, personable female optometrist, contact Envision Eye Care today!