Female Doctors Are Better Than Their Male Colleagues Under Certain Circumstances: Study Indicates Women Are Less Likely To Kill You In The Medical Profession

Female doctors are better than their male colleagues, indicates a new study. If the male doctors performed as well as their female counterparts in the hospital, more than 30,000 patients would survive their visit to the hospital. Moreover, the gender inequity, still prevalent in the United States, prevents female doctors from excelling in the field of medicine while fighting to match their incomes with the male doctors.

Patients treated by women are more likely to survive their trip to the hospital. Moreover, once healthy, the people are less likely to return to the hospital for additional treatment or for rectifying something that went wrong during their previous visit. Incidentally, a study conducted about three years ago had strongly suggested that female doctors generally provide a higher quality of medical service and better quality care to the patients than their male colleagues.

The earlier study reasoned that female doctors are more likely to strictly adhere to clinical guidelines and offer appropriate advice about preventative and post-operative care. The study, conducted by a team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, indicates that female doctors working at hospitals have lower 30-day patient mortality and readmission rates. In simpler terms, a patient under a female doctor is more likely to get better, not die, and not return to the hospital.

The researchers reached the conclusion after sifting through 1.5 million elderly Medicare patient hospitalizations between 2011 and 2014, reported USA Today. To prove their hypothesis, they focused on 30-day death and hospital readmission rates. The researchers discovered patients under female doctors had lower mortality rates as well as lower readmission rates as compared to patients who were treated by male doctors.

Needless to add, being cared for by a female doctor eventually benefits the patients. Statistically speaking, over the four years that the researchers considered for their study, about 11 percent of the patients treated by female physicians died within a month after being in the hospital. In comparison, about 11.5 percent of the patients treated by male doctors died. Similarly, about 15 percent of the patients treated by women doctors had to return to the hospital within a month, compared to 15.5 percent of those treated by men.

Interestingly, while the difference in patient mortality rates between male and female doctors wasn’t very high, when extrapolated with the number of people who are admitted as patients every year, the gap means the difference between life and death for 32,000 people each year, said Harvard’s Dr. Ashish Jha, who oversaw the study.

“32 000 fewer patients would die if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as female physicians each year. Understanding exactly why these differences in care quality and practice patterns exist may provide valuable insights into improving quality of care for all patients, irrespective of who provides their care.”

“The data out there says that women physicians tend to be a little bit better at sticking to the evidence and doing the things that we know work better.”

Unfortunately, despite the data suggesting female physicians are likely to provide better quality treatment, they are marginalized when it comes to remuneration, noted Dr. Anna Parks of the University of California, San Francisco.

“Women physicians are paid a lot less than their male counterparts. Despite evidence suggesting that female physicians may provide higher-quality care, some have argued that career interruptions for childrearing, higher rates of part-time employment, and greater tradeoffs between home and work responsibilities may compromise the quality of care provided by female physicians and justify higher salaries among male physicians.”

Another study that researched the gender inequity and pay gap discovered white male doctors earned on average $250,000 a year, white female doctors earned $163,000 a year, reported NBC News.

Interestingly, people admitted to hospitals are generally given little to no choice about who their doctor will be. The research does indicate the patients might have a better chance if they could opt for a female doctor for their treatment.

[Featured Image by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]