Here’s yet another reason we need more female doctors in this country: According to a new study by a medical association journal, patients aged 65 and older are less likely to die or be readmitted to the hospital when they’re treated by female doctors than when they’re treated by male doctors.
The researchers found that female and male doctors actually approach practising medicine differently. And they estimated that if male physicians practised more like their female counterparts, we’d save an estimated 32 000 lives each year among patients.
While the researchers aren’t sure what it is about the way female doctors practice medicine that accounts for this difference, they did point out what previous research has shown us about the differences in bedside manners: Women physicians are more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and evidence-based practices and are more likely to provide preventive care and communicate in a more patient-centric way. They also provide more counselling to their patients than male doctors do.
That doesn’t mean you have to run out and get a female doctor this second in order to have a nice long life, but it does show that we, as women, bring singular skills to our chosen careers. The biggest takeaway, though, is that we really should work harder to remedy the lack of representation of female doctors in positions of leadership and prestige.
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