“It could be something the doctor is doing. It could be something about how the patient is reacting to the doctor. It’s really hard to say. It’s probably multi-factorial.” (Doctor Vineet Arora, medical professor, University of Chicago)
Here’s a curious medical tidbit that might be well-worth pondering:
Elderly patients in hospitals are less likely to return after being sent home – and even more important – are more likely to live longer, when they are treated by lady physicians instead of their male counterparts.
Say that again?
According to a research study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine magazine, the best information available reveals that female MDs are consistently providing higher quality medical care. Specifically, the study found that older patients of male doctors experience higher hospital readmission rates – and higher death rates – spanning 8 different, serious medical conditions, such as irregular heart rhythms, breathing problems and infections.
Leading the study was Doctor Yusuke Tsugawa of Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. He and his team evaluated 1,500,000 clinical visits nationwide among Medicare patients over a 4-year period that started in January 2011. Their analysis exposed that patients treated by male doctors had higher mortality rates – 11.5% compared to 11% for female physicians. The study also revealed that patients of male MDs had higher readmission rates within a one-month period after being released – 15.5% versus 15%.
“There is evidence that men and women may practice medicine differently. Literature has shown that female physicians may be more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines, provide preventive care more often, use more patient-centered communication, perform as well or better on standardized examinations, and provide more psychosocial counseling to their patients than do their male peers.”
The report observed that although the differences in percentages may not appear impressive at first glance, what they actually mean is that male physician patient care – at least within the scope of the study – accounts for 32,000 more deaths each year, than women MDs treating patients in the same disease categories.
Here’s another look: