A report published on December 19, 2016 by Mia Dr Graaf in the DAILYMAIL headlined:
Why you’re LESS likely to die if you see a female doctor:
Women GP’s save far more lives by following the rules and connecting with their patients.
- A Harvard study has found female doctors save far more lives than male doctors
- It is the first study to compare how men and women doctors affect mortality
- They found we would save 32,000 more lives a year with just women doctors
- The study credits the difference to female doctors’ communication skills
Patients are less likely to die if treated by a female doctor than a male doctor, an unprecedented study reveals.
A research team at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found people treated by women are less likely to die within 30 days of admission.
They were also far less likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge.
In fact, the researchers estimated there would be 32,000 fewer deaths a year among Medicare patients alone if all doctors were female.
The study credits the outcomes to the fact that women are better at communicating with their patients, and tend to more closely follow the rules.
And yet, female physicians earn eight percent less than their male counterparts.
It is the first research to document differences in how male and female physicians treat patients result in different outcomes for hospitalized patients in the U.S.
Even the researchers admitted they were shocked by the staggering difference in outcomes.
‘The difference in mortality rates surprised us,’ said lead author Yusuke Tsugawa, research associate in the Department of Health Policy and Management.
‘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.’
Previous studies have found differences in the way female and male physicians practice.
For example, female physicians are more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and provide more patient-centered communication.
But this is the first national study to look at whether the differences in the way male and female physicians practice affect clinical outcomes.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries age 65 years or older hospitalized with a medical condition and treated by general internists between 2011 and 2014.
They adjusted for differences in patient and physician characteristics, and considered whether differences in patient outcomes varied by specific condition or by severity of illness.
Reuters (12/19, Rapaport) reports the researchers also found that the patients treated by female physicians were 5% less likely to be readmitted within a month after leaving the hospital.
Additional coverage is provided by the Wall Street Journal (12/19, Evans, Subscription Publication), USA Today (12/19, Painter), NPR (12/19, Schumann, Schumann), STAT (12/19, Ross), Modern Healthcare (12/19, Whitman, Subscription Publication), and MedPage Today (12/19, Lou).