Culture

Study Finds That Patients With Female Doctors Live Longer

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Is your doctor a man or a woman? It turns out that your answer might have a significant impact on your health. Researchers looked at data from Medicare patients over the course of a three-year period and found that “patients treated by women had both a lesser risk of premature death (10.82% to men’s 11.49% overall) and reduced hospital readmissions within 30 days (15.01% to men’s 15.57%).” While only about 33% of physicians are women, they are undoubtedly having a huge effect on their patients’ lives.

According to The Guardian,

The researchers estimated that approximately 32,000 fewer patients would die “if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as female physicians every year,” they wrote, based on Medicare hospitalizations. The report said that number would presumably be larger if the trend holds for non-Medicare patients.

Put simply, Ashish Jha, a study co-author and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told Vox that a patient’s “chances of dying are lower if your doctor is a woman.”

The study controlled for different variables and wasn’t able to explain why female doctors’ patients tended to live longer and be healthier than those of male physicians.