Stakeholders affiliated with healthcare services should understand patient attitudes and criteria that are involved in selecting a personal physician. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that are significant to patients in selecting or deselecting physicians as providers of healthcare services.
The research structure was set to theorize the physician selection criteria (PSC) model into two phases. The first phase developed a conceptual model as revealed from healthcare consumer perceptions. The second phase was designed to test and validate the model through cause–effect statistical analysis underpinned by theoretical explanations through an empirical study.
Through an empirical study of benchmarking perceptions of people from 15 different countries, qualitative PSC were gathered and used to formulate an initial PSC model. Based on the proposed model, a validity test was conducted, and finally, the PSC model was developed, resulting in several interesting and self-explanatory outcomes.
The model was tested in only one (relatively cosmopolitan) city. For proper generalization, it should be tested in countries with differing healthcare service systems.
The results of this study are interesting, important and have potential values to academics and medical professionals. The study provides strong evidence that a physician’s external approach to patients is the most significant issue for patients seeking medical services. This does not refer to basic medical services, but rather the treatment process, where the physician’s behavior and positive attitude has the strongest effect on the patient’s decision to choose one physician over others.
Final PSC model has identified some significant theoretical explanations for academics and professional justifications for practitioners.