Patients of female doctors show better survival: study

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Those with female doctors were significantly less likely to die within 30 days of admission, or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine were based on a sample of more than one million people whose records were analyzed from 2011 to 2014. If men could achieve the same success as women in this realm, researchers estimated that there would be 32,000 fewer deaths each year among Medicare patients alone, a group that includes people over 65. The number is about the same as the death toll across the United States from car accidents in a given year, the report said. “The difference in mortality rates surprised us,” said lead author Yusuke Tsugawa, research associate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The gender of the physician appears to be particularly significant for the sickest patients.” The study was described as the first national assessment of its kind to compare outcomes among patients of female and male doctors. It found that patients treated by a female physician had a four percent lower relative risk of dying prematurely compared to those treated by men. Patients cared for by women doctors had a five percent lower relative risk of being readmitted to a hospital within 30 days. “The association was seen across a wide variety of clinical conditions and variations in severity of illness,” said the report.–Agencies

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