Racial and Gender Differences in Patient Satisfaction Scores Among Oncologists

Bismarck C. Odei, Xueliang Pan, Erika Bello-Pardo, Darrion Mitchell, Charles R. Thomas, Dayssy A. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patient satisfaction scores (PSS) have been adopted in health care reimbursement and faculty promotion metrics. Oncology patients face a challenging prognosis, where PSS may be perceived differently. We hypothesized that PSS differed based on gender and racial demographics of oncologists. Materials and Methods: This was an institutional review board exempt cross-sectional study utilizing PSS data for outpatient oncologists within a large comprehensive cancer center. Patient demographics included age, gender, race/ethnicity, geographical residence, and disease site. Characteristics of oncologists included gender and race/ethnicity. We used PSS ≥95 to make comparisons. The association between patient and physician characteristics were evaluated using the t test and χ2 test. Results: A total of 15,849 oncology patients were identified between 2011 and 2020. Survey respondents were predominantly female (53.2%), white (93.4%), between 50 and 70 years of age (55.3%), and living in an urban setting (63.6%). There were 303 oncologists with the majority being male (64.4%) and white (58.1%). Compared with white oncologists, Asian and Hispanic oncologists received lower PSS (P=0.001 and 0.0085, respectively). On subset analysis, these differences were significant among patients older than 50 years, living in rural counties, and reporting white or non-Hispanic race/ethnicity, or among patients of either gender (all P<0.05). Patients with genitourinary malignancies provided lower PSS for female oncologists (P=0.005). Conclusions: Asian and Hispanic oncologists were more likely to receive lower PSS. In addition, female oncologists treating genitourinary malignancies received lower PSS. Appropriate statistical adjustments are needed for PSS among oncologists to account for race, gender, and physician subspecialization to allow for equitable professional opportunities across demographics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-115
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • equity
  • gender
  • implicit bias
  • oncology
  • patient satisfaction
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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