A study, conducted by a team of doctors at Harvard University, has found that female doctors are superior at treating patients compared to male doctors, even though they earn an average of $20 0000 less per year.
Patients who are treated by female doctors were found to have a reduced risk of premature death and were less likely to return to the hospital after recovery from an illness.
Why are female doctors better?
The Journal of American Medical Association’s (JAMA) Internal Medicine department believes that, based on the study, female doctors practice medicine differently than their male counterparts, which is why they produce different and evidently better results.
It turns out that female doctors are also superior in adhering to the rules of practicing medicine and communicating to patients and colleagues, which makes them better medical professionals in general.
When surveying random patients, it was also found that female doctors were perceived to be more nurturing and healthcare-orientated than male doctors, which encouraged quicker healing.
How was the study conducted?
The team of Harvard doctors followed the medical records of 1,583,028 Medicare patients who were hospitalized between 2011 and 2014 and noticed that those treated by female doctors had a reduced risk of death within the 30 days of being discharged from the hospital and of being re-admitted for any reason.
All patients were over the age of 65 and medical conditions of all sorts and severity were taken into account. Researchers adjusted for every imaginable variable but female physicians consistently came out on top. Even patients who were randomly assigned to a physician on arrival proved that those who were treated by a female had a 4% lower risk of dying and a 5% lower risk of being re-admitted to hospital the following month.
The lead authors of the study concluded: “Approximately 32000 fewer patients would die per year if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as female physicians, which is a remarkable find.”
Why do male doctors earn more?
It has been confirmed that female doctors earn an average of 8% less than male doctors, likely due to maternity leave and domestic responsibilities being considered a liability. Research shows that male physicians receive more research funding and are twice as likely to become promoted to the level of a full professor than female physicians.
However, this new study has proven that female physicians tend to offer higher-quality medical care and produce more sustainable results than males, and often also have longer sessions with each of their patients, showing an admirable level of care and respect.
Should you only see a female doctor?
The study does not recommend that everyone should discard their male doctors to run to a female doctor, especially since only one-third of the American physician workforce is made up of women.
Instead, researchers have simply concluded that: “Understanding exactly why these differences in care quality and practice patterns exist may provide valuable insights.”
“The next step would be to better understand why female physicians have lower mortality records so that all patients can have the best possible outcomes, irrespective of the gender of their physician,” added Ashish Jha, one of the lead researchers of the study.
This was the first study to ever compare death and re-hospitalization outcomes of male and female physicians, which is helping to, once again, raise the standard of the medical profession. Better compensation for female physicians is also being investigated.