It Probably Really Matters If Your Doctor Is Male or Female


No amount of political correctness will ever change the fact that there are many differences between men and women. That’s generally a good thing for society. In most aspects of life having balance results in better outcomes. But when it comes down to healthcare, it appears as though gender does generally impact outcomes. In a study of 1.6 million Medicare patients, published in the medical journal Jama Internal Medicine, the differences in outcomes based on the gender of the physician were significant. How so? Well, female physicians meaningfully outperformed male doctors with like outcomes including lower readmission rate, shorter hospitalization durations, and lower death rates.

That’s pretty compelling, isn’t it? But why specifically? The researchers conducting the study observed that it starts early. The average female physicians outperform their male counterparts' academically and carry that into practice. Additionally, women are noted to communicate more effectively with patients and other medical staff aiding better outcomes. And the good news, for those who might be desirous of having the care of a female physician, is that the next generation of doctors are mostly women. 60% of all physicians under 35 are women. That compares with only 35% of all active physicians who are female.

This isn’t to say ubiquitously that all women in medicine are better than men but what it does show is that when averaged out, you’d fare better with the average female physician.

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