Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Younghwan Song




e-mail, medicine, physician, communication, services


Communication between a physician and a patient is an integral part to the healthcare delivery system. E-mail has the power to fully utilize a physician’s medical expertise for the good of the patient. However, many physicians do not offer this service to their patients in the United States. This study analyzes factors that impact e‐mail utilization among physicians and whether e-mail use contributes to career satisfaction of physicians using the 2008 Health Tracking and Physician Survey. Controlling for the effect of physician and practice characteristics, such as financial incentive for providing services, gender, specialty, practice type, and reliance on Medicaid revenue, this study suggests that qualities like specializing have a significant positive effect, while working in a solo practice has a negative effect on e-mail use by physicians. Financial incentives to expand medical services have a significant positive effect on e‐mail use. This study also suggests that e‐mail utilization has a positive effect on career satisfaction of physicians. Physicians preferred to spend more time e-mailing other physicians than their patients. Thus, to enhance coordination and outcomes, financial incentives should be put into place.