Study Suggests Female Doctors Yield Lower Mortality Rates Among Female Patients

by Ella

A recent study suggests that female patients experience lower mortality and hospital readmission rates when treated by female doctors.


The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, reveal a significant difference in patient outcomes based on the gender of their treating physician.


Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa, an associate professor-in-residence at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), emphasized the implications of these findings, stating, “What our findings indicate is that female and male physicians practice medicine differently, and these differences have a meaningful impact on patients’ health outcomes.”


The research involved analyzing data from over 776,000 male and female patients aged 65 years or older, treated between 2016 and 2019. Mortality and readmission rates within 30 days of hospital admission were assessed.


The study revealed that female patients treated by female doctors had a mortality rate of 8.15%, compared to 8.38% when treated by male doctors. This difference was described as “large and clinically meaningful” by the authors. Similarly, female patients had a lower hospital readmission rate of 15.51% when treated by female doctors, compared to 16.01% when treated by male doctors.

While the study highlighted a significant disparity in outcomes for female patients, no notable difference was observed for male patients based on the gender of their physician.

The researchers stressed the importance of further investigation to understand the underlying reasons for these disparities. One hypothesis suggests that male physicians may underestimate illness severity among female patients, potentially leading to worse outcomes.

Another possibility is that communication between female patients and female doctors may be more effective, leading to improved care and patient satisfaction.

Dr. Tsugawa underscored the potential implications of these findings for patient care, stating, “A better understanding of this topic could lead to the development of interventions that effectively improve patient care.”

Furthermore, the study highlights the societal benefits of having more female physicians, as they consistently provide high-quality care.

The researchers also expressed their intent to explore whether similar results are observed among younger patient populations, as the current study focused on individuals aged 65 and older.


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