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Higher chances of survival if patients are treated by medical doctors
Apparently, the gender of medical personnel has an impact on the success of treatment for patients. According to a new study, the chances of survival for hospital patients are better if they are treated by doctors instead of their male colleagues.
Lower risk of death
According to a recent study, hospital patients have a lower risk of dying if they are treated by medical professionals instead of their male colleagues. For their investigation, the scientists from Boston evaluated the data of over 1.5 million US seniors with internal complaints. The study results have now been published in the specialist journal “Jama Internal Medicine”.
Difference of 32,000 deaths per year
According to the information, almost 11.5 percent died among the patients of the male doctors. However, if the hospital patients were treated by a woman, the death rate was 0.43 percentage points lower.
The difference may seem very small at first, but according to the scientists it is "clinically significant" because the bottom line - extrapolated to all US hospital patients - is a difference of 32,000 fewer deaths per year.
Women and men approach treatment differently
The study does not give a reason for the lead over the male colleagues. However, it is known from previous studies that men and women approach treatment differently.
Accordingly, doctors take more time for their patients, attach more importance to communication with them and respond more to their concerns. They also adhere more strictly to medical guidelines.
It is unclear whether the difference is due to female treatment skills
However, it remains questionable whether the small difference is actually due to the treatment skills of the doctors.
As the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ) reports, Stefan Lange, deputy head of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), certifies that the study authors have made "every possible effort" to calculate disturbance variables such as the age and place of work of the doctors .
However, for example, different working hours between women and men were not taken into account.
Doctors earn much less
Medical researchers Anna Parks and Rita Redberg from the University of California at San Francisco wrote in a commentary on the study that the results should encourage hospitals to think and act.
Doctors in the United States still earn an average of eight percent less than their male colleagues. But "women doctors do equivalent or potentially even better work than their male colleagues," it says. (ad)