Affluent patients ‘more attractive'

You won't necessarily end up before the GMC for this, but if you're an average GP you are apparently susceptible to your patients' looks, youth and the scent of their money.

You may also be giving more attractive patients better treatment.  

Asked to respond to photographs of 325 patients aged 40 to 60 from the most affluent or deprived practices in Northern Ireland, GPs were much more positive about the affluent. 

A team of 20 male and 10 female GPs rated more affluent patients as markedly more physically attractive.  

GPs from deprived practices were particularly susceptible.  

The patients’ level of affluence affected the GPs more than three times as much as whether they smiled or not.  

The research team from the Queen’s University of Belfast suggested the ‘unfortunate and probably unpalatable’ conclusion that ‘more attractive people get preferential treatment.’  

‘More attractive people get a better deal,’ said lead researcher Dr Dermot Reilly, senior lecturer in the department of epidemiology and public health at Queens University Belfast.  

Doctors should ‘attempt to ensure a disadvantaged sector of the population is not inadvertently further disadvantaged,’ the study concluded.  

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs should not prescribe opioids, NSAIDs or paracetamol for chronic pain, says NICE

GPs should not prescribe opioids, NSAIDs or paracetamol for chronic pain, says NICE

GPs should not prescribe opioids, benzodiazepines, paracetamol or NSAIDs for chronic...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GP practices have been instructed to increase activity, 'make rapid progress' on...

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on dealing with patients...

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Should remote consultations be the default after COVID-19?

Health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that general practice should follow a...

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

GPs and other healthcare professionals in England will now be required to self isolate...