312 — Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians

Tsugawa et al (10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7875)

Read on 28 June 2018
#medicine  #academia  #gender-bias  #hospital  #readmission  #clinical 

This huge study looked at the difference between patient outcomes and hospital readmission rates (usually an indication of a bad patient outcome) and then compared those results when patients were seen primarily by a male physician versus a female physician.

The primary populatin was an elderly patient population in Boston: In general, this population likely had fewer heavy-healthcare-user patients, which could have otherwise cast an unpredictable statistical interference.

The results were pretty notable: Readmission rates were lower when patients saw female physicians than male physicians; the only population for which this was not an established pattern was the very healthy population (for which readmission was of substantially lower probability overall, anyhow).

The mortality rate was also lower for female physician patients than for male. This research confirmed that female physicians were more likely to “practice evidence-based medicine” and generally performed better on standardized tests.