NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Daniela Carusi, M.D.

75 Francis St., Boston MA 02115

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2016A Doctor Will See You Now: Physician-Patient Relationships and Clinical Decisions
with Erin Johnson, M. Marit Rehavi, David C. Chan, Jr: w22666
We estimate the effect of physician-patient relationships on clinical decisions in a setting where the treating physician is as good as randomly assigned. OBs are 25% (4 percentage points) more likely to perform a C-section when delivering patients with whom they have a pre-existing clinical relationship (their “own patients”) than when delivering patients with whom they had no prior relationship. OBs’ decisions are consistent with receiving greater disutility from their own patients’ difficult labors. After a string of difficult labors, OBs are more likely to perform C-sections on their own patients, and this can explain the entire own patient effect.
 
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