A New UCLA Study Has Shown That Patients Treated By Female Physicians Experience Lower Mortality Rates And Reduced Hospital Readmissions Compared To Those Treated By Male Physicians

Monkey Business - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

A new study conducted by researchers at UCLA has highlighted the impact of a doctor’s gender on patient health outcomes.

The findings suggest that patients treated by female physicians actually experience lower mortality rates and reduced instances of hospital readmissions in comparison to those treated by male physicians. Moreover, female patients particularly benefit from the care of female doctors.

The study used Medicare claims data covering over 700,000 patients from 2016 to 2019. By analyzing this data, the researchers discovered a mortality rate of 8.15% for female patients under the care of female physicians, which is slightly lower than the 8.38% recorded by male physicians.

And although this disparity is modest, the researchers regard it as “clinically significant.”

It’s also important to note that male patients experienced improved outcomes when treated by female doctors as well, despite the difference being more subtle. Male patients had a 10.15% mortality rate with female physicians, which is slightly lower than the 10.23% observed with male physicians.

Furthermore, the research revealed that hospital readmission rates were lower for patients initially seen by female doctors, with fewer returning within 30 days of discharge. These results have caused the research team to suggest a number of potential explanations.

“What our findings indicate is that female and male physicians practice medicine differently, and these differences have a meaningful impact on patient’s health outcomes,” explained Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa, the study’s senior author.

One possible explanation is that male doctors may not fully recognize the severity of symptoms in female patients. Past studies have indicated that male physicians often underestimate women’s levels of pain, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal symptoms, and stroke risk, which may potentially lead to inadequate or delayed treatment.

Since female doctors are often perceived as being more effective communicators with their female patients, fostering an environment of trust and openness, communication may also be a contributing factor.

Monkey Business – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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