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Patients treated by female doctors more likely to survive

A new study says patients are less likely to die or be readmitted when treated by a female doctor. According to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients with female doctors have lower rates of mortality and remission than patients treated by male doctors.

The study included over 7,76,000 participants including 458,100 female patients and more than 3,18,800 male patients who were hospitalised with medical conditions from 2016 to 2019. All were covered by Medicare, NDTV reports.

The study concluded that “patients have lower mortality and readmission rates when treated by female physicians.” The mortality rate for female patients when they were treated by a female doctor was 8.15 per cent compared with 8.38% when treated by a male physician. Meanwhile, the mortality rate was 10.15 per cent for men when treated by a female doctor compared to 10.23 per cent when treated by a male.

The percentage difference for women is considered “clinically meaningful,” the researchers noted.

“It is important to note that female physicians provide high-quality care, and therefore, having more female physicians benefits patients from a societal point-of-view,” said investigator Yusuke Tsugawa in a press release.

”Further research on the underlying mechanisms linking physician gender with patient outcomes, and why the benefit of receiving the treatment from female physicians is larger for female patients, has the potential to improve patient outcomes across the board,” he added.

”We know that there are differences in care delivery patterns by male versus female physicians across fields of medicine. Female physicians spend more time with patients and spend more time engaging in shared medical decision-making and partnership discussions than male counterparts,” Dr Lisa Rotenstein, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor and medical director at the University of California San Francisco.