Despite being consistently paid less and less likely to be promoted, it appears that female doctors are better at keeping their patients healthy.
Maybe, just maybe, a general gender raise is in order?
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine and put together by researchers at Harvard, compared mortality and readmission rates among 1.5 million hospitalizations in the United States between 2011 and 2014. They found that inpatients (those who stay in the hospital during treatment) treated by female doctors were less likely to A) die or B) be readmitted to hospital within 30 days of being discharged.
Um, paging Doctor Not-A-Man.
The differences in rates is but a few decimal points of a per cent, but when we’re talking about death or another trip to the hospital, every point counts. Mortality rates were 11.07 per cent versus 11.49 per cent, while readmission rates were 15.02 versus 15.57 per cent, women vs. men.
As to why patients seem to be generally healthier when treated by a woman than a man, the study speculates that female doctors are better at both communicating with their patients, and following medical protocol than male doctors.
“There is evidence that men and women may practice medicine differently. Literature has shown that female physicians may be more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines, provide preventive care more often, use more patient-centered communication, perform as well or better on standardized examinations, and provide more psychosocial counseling to their patients than their male peers,” the study states.
And though the study doesn’t say anything about Canadian doctors, we’re betting that those numbers would carry across the border.
But, hey, we’re no doctor. As always, more research is needed.