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Qual Manag Health Care. 2005 Jul-Sep;14(3):155-64.

The voice of the patient: a national, representative study of satisfaction with family physicians.

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  • 1Research and Development, Press Ganey Associates, Inc, South Bend, IN 46601, USA.



Among quality-of-care data types, patient satisfaction with care is a direct expression of patients and is related to important outcomes. To what degree are patients of family physicians satisfied with their care? What do their responses indicate about opportunities for quality improvement? Until now, national, representative data pertaining to patient satisfaction with family physicians' care have not been available. This article provides such data.


A national sample, representative of the age-sex distribution of US ambulatory care visits, was drawn from a large database of surveys from patients of family physicians. Survey responses were analysed for levels of satisfaction with the salient aspects of care.


Data indicated general satisfaction with care provided by family physicians. Physicians themselves obtained the highest ratings, followed by nurses. Patients were less satisfied with access to care issues; items pertaining to waiting for the physician were rated the least satisfactory of all. Patient gender affected ratings of several survey items; women were more satisfied with physician-related items than were men; men were more satisfied with process-related issues than were women. If family physicians want more satisfied patients, they should show more respect for patients' time.

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