Disentangling evidence and preference in patient-clinician concordance discussions

Leah Z.G. Rand, Zackary Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Debate about whether and when to accommodate patient requests for concordant clinicians should consider evidence. This article examines how existing evidence could be used to interpret or inform ethical arguments about whether to accommodate such requests. Studies on patient-clinician concordance yield mixed and inconclusive results. Concordance might contribute to increased patient satisfaction and trust, but these results are not consistent and could be the result of clinicians’ communication skills. Given this evidence and the risk of social harm in honoring concordance requests, this article argues that patients’ concordance requests should be honored only when health care services would be denied to a patient, such as in a case of a clinician’s conscientious objection to providing a service. All other requests should be scrutinized for a reasonable ethical justification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E505-E512
JournalAMA Journal of Ethics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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