Home » Examining the Impact of Doctor’s Gender on Patient Prognosis: Study Finds Female Doctors Associated with Lower Mortality Rates

Examining the Impact of Doctor’s Gender on Patient Prognosis: Study Finds Female Doctors Associated with Lower Mortality Rates

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Examining the Impact of Doctor’s Gender on Patient Prognosis: Study Finds Female Doctors Associated with Lower Mortality Rates

Study Finds Female Doctors Associated with Lower Patient Mortality Rates

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has found that hospitalized patients are less likely to die if they are treated by a female doctor. The research, led by Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa of UCLA, analyzed Medicare claims data from 2016 to 2019 and found that about 10.15 percent of men and 8.2 percent of women died while under the care of a female doctor, compared to 10.23 percent and 8.4 percent with a male doctor.

The study highlighted a concerning discrepancy in patient outcomes based on the gender of their doctor, suggesting that physicians of both sexes may practice medicine differently. Male doctors were found to potentially underestimate the severity of a patient’s illness, leading to misjudgments in pain levels, cardiac and gastrointestinal symptoms, and stroke risk in female patients.

Furthermore, female patients were not only less likely to die with a female doctor but also less likely to return to the hospital within a month of discharge. The researchers theorized that women may communicate better and feel more comfortable with female doctors, leading to improved diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Tsugawa emphasized the importance of further research to understand why male doctors may not be as effective as female doctors and the potential impact of this difference on patient care. He also pointed out the need to address gender gaps in doctors’ compensation, as female physicians provide high-quality care and benefit patients from a social perspective.

The study’s findings shed light on the importance of considering the doctor’s gender in patient care and the potential benefits of having more female physicians in the healthcare system. More information on the impact of doctor’s gender on patient outcomes can be found at Harvard Health.

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Source: UCLA Press Release, April 22, 2024. Dennis Thompson. HealthDay Reporters ©The New York Times 2024.

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