Patients Treated By Female Doctors Are Less Likely To Die Prematurely: Study

Posted: Dec 19 2016, 2:28pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Patients Treated by Female Doctors are Less Likely to Die Prematurely: Study
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Patients have better survival rates and lower chances of being hospitilized again if they are treated by female doctors

Female doctors may be better than male doctors, simply because they are showing better results. That’s according to a new research.

Elderly patients treated by female physicians are less likely to die or remitted to the hospital in a short run compared to those treated by male physicians. Researchers estimate that if male physicians could produce the same results as their female counterparts, there would be 32,000 fewer deaths each year – a number equivalent to car accident deaths annually. 

The study is the first to highlight the different between male and female physician’s treatment in U.S. and its impact on clinical outcomes.  

“The difference in mortality rates surprised us,” said lead author Yusuke Tsugawa from Harvard School of Public Health. “The gender of the physician appears to be particularly significant for the sickest patients. These findings indicate that potential differences in practice patterns between male and female physicians may have important clinical implications.”

For the comparison of male and female physicians, researchers analyzed data of more than 1 million Medicare patients age 65 or older admitted to hospitals between 2011 and 2014. Researchers specifically looked at the mortality and readmission rate in patients within 30 days after receiving treatment from either male or female doctor. 

Researchers found that patients had a 4% lower risk of dying within a month if they are treated by female doctors. The patients of female doctors also had 5% lower risk of being readmitted to the hospital a month after discharge. The results remained consistent across wide range of medical conditions and the severity of disease. 

The difference in outcome is likely due to the way male and female physicians practice medicine. For instance, female doctors tend to more strictly follow clinical guidelines and communicate with patients in a more clear and precise manner.

“There was ample evidence that male and female physicians practice medicine differently,” said co-author Ashish Jha. “Our findings suggest that those differences matter and are important to patient health. We need to understand why female physicians have lower mortality so that all patients can have the best possible outcomes, irrespective of the gender of their physician.” 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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