HomeCURRENT AFFAIRSHEALTHPatients Treated by Female Doctors Have Better Outcomes, Claims Research

Patients Treated by Female Doctors Have Better Outcomes, Claims Research

The Annals of Internal Medicine recently released a research that found lower risks of readmission and mortality among patients treated by female physicians.

Female Doctors: According to a recent study, patients treated by female physicians have a lower risk of dying or needing to be readmitted. Patients treated by female physicians have lower rates of death and remission than patients treated by male physicians, according to a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Study Population and Coverage

Over 776,000 patients—458,100 female patients and over 318,800 male patients—who were admitted to hospitals between 2016 and 2019 for various medical illnesses were included in the study. Medicare provided coverage for all of them.

According to the study’s findings, “patients treated by female physicians have lower rates of mortality and readmission.” When treated by a female physician, the mortality rate for female patients was 8.15%, but when handled by a male physician, it was 8.38%.

In contrast, males treated by female doctors had a mortality rate of 10.15%, while men treated by male doctors had a mortality rate of 10.23%. For women, the percentage difference is deemed “clinically meaningful,” according to the study.

Investigator’s Statement on Female Physicians’ Care Quality

“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.

Expert Insights on Female Physicians’ Practices

According to experts, female physicians spend more time doing procedures, reviewing patient records, and interacting with patients. When it comes to female patients, female doctors most likely also have stronger communication abilities and a more patient-centered approach.

According to the researchers, having a female doctor treat you could also help ease the social and cultural taboos, discomfort, and shame that female patients may experience during delicate examination.

Insights from Dr. Lisa Rotenstein

”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, an assistant professor and medical director at the University of California San Francisco, told Medical News Today.

Exploring Disparities in Medical Treatment

This new research adds to the expanding body of work exploring the reasons behind the disparity in medical treatment that patients of color and women experience compared to that of men and white patients.

NBC News stated that “women and minority patients are up to 30% more likely to be misdiagnosed than white men,” citing a study that was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2024. According to a different survey from 2002, male doctors saw patients for an average of 21 minutes, while female doctors spent an average of 23 minutes with them.

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