A recent study has shown an increased chance of survival for patients treated by female physicians and the medical industry is concerned about this.
The study published in the Jama health forum on the 16th of July consisted of two statistical reports from American and Canada showing a lowered in-hospital death rate in patients assigned to female doctors.
Who Are Better Doctors?
Anjali Sergeant, a medical student at McMaster University in Ontario was inspired to conduct this study after several types of research in primary health care showed gender differences in doctors could actually impact death rates in hospitals.
She added, “Our study overall shows that female doctors have lower patient death rates compared to the patients of their male colleagues, but the difference could not be explained based on imaging tests, CT scans, ultrasound, things like that,”
The study consisted of 171,000 patients who were mostly older than 73 treated by 54 female and 118 male physicians. The study found that females ordered more tests to be sure of their patient’s ailments leading to a 0.47% difference in death rates.
Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber is a professor of medicine at Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens, Ga who was not involved in the study said women being caregivers at home show the same level of compassion and empathy at work while male doctors gain the same after decades of experience in the medical field.
Why Are Females Better Doctors?
This Canadian study had similar results to an American study conducted in 2017 that had a 0.43% difference between the date rates. Though these rates are insignificant.
Here are a few significant takeaways from the study:
- More Canadian females are pursuing medicine.
- An increased female population in the field of medicine who are aware of the latest treatment and clinical guidelines could be benefiting the case.
- The results showed a difference even after adjusting medical differences in patients.
- Though the health care system in America and Canada are not similar to each other, female doctors still performed better than their male counterparts.
- Dr. Ruhr also added this could also be due to female doctors considering the patient’s family background and thinking about aftercare requisites before jumping into treating the patient.
How Does This Concern You?
In spite of the advanced facilities available at hospitals, gender inequality is still a major issue. Stereotyping men as better doctors than women have caused female physicians to work more and make less than males with few to zero paid vacations.
Dr. Rohr said, about 40% of female doctors either quit or reduce their working hours after 6 years of practicing medicine. “When you make things like family leave policies that are conducive to having families, you help the whole family, not just the women physicians, but the guys, too,” she added that if this rate continues there would be a significant drop in the number of female doctors would automatically result in a notable increase in in-hospital deaths in the future.