Should the battle of the sexes include the medical profession? A recent study was conducted to try and discover if there was a difference in the level of care for hospital patients over the age of 65 when treated by a male or female doctor. The findings showed that seniors might just be better off under the care of a female physician during a hospital stay.
The study was conducted by doctors and researchers through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and was recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Data was gathered from 2011 to 2014 on 1.5 million Medicare patients (age 65+) who were admitted to the hospital for reasons other than surgical care, including sepsis, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure. Here is what they found:
- Patients who were treated by female primary doctors and internists saw a lower death rate in the 30 days following the date of hospital admission than those treated by male primary doctors and internists.
- Patients who were treated by female primary doctors and internists were readmitted to the hospital fewer times in the 30 days following the date of discharge than those treated by male primary doctors and internists.
While the results show a small differential in numbers, researchers still feel it significant. If the outcome for the male doctors equaled those of the female doctors, the study suggests that 32,000 deaths could be avoided every year. Analysts feel that female doctors may follow guidelines more closely (including preventative care) and spend more time with patients. This puts patients at ease, leading them to be increasingly open and provide greater details on their symptoms and current medical condition. Right now, female physicians make up one-third of the country’s doctors but those numbers are on the rise as half of the recent medical school graduates are women.
Whether you have a male or female doctor as your treating physician during a hospital stay, they must take all precautions to make sure you are properly cared for. A failure to diagnose an illness or a misdiagnosis from unnecessary mistakes and errors could lead to serious medical complications affecting the rest of your life. If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice during a hospital stay, do not remain silent. Contact the experienced and skilled attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., today.