Girl doctors get things done

download-1At least, that’s the general finding of a new Harvard study (and thanks, Leftover, for sending it). According to the study, elderly hospitalized patients are less likely to die within a month of admission, and less likely to be readmitted within a month after discharge.

(The study said that if boy doctors worked so well, there’d be 32,000 less deaths among Medicare¬†patients alone.)



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  1. While the study is somewhat limited in scope, the findings are immensely significant. Bigly even.

    …a 4% lower relative risk of dying prematurely and a 5% lower relative risk of being readmitted to a hospital within 30 days.

    Now all we have to do is figure out why.

  2. I feel that this has always been true and the same with female nurses. We see things differently. We see the whole picture. Men have tunnel vision. They are very good doctors and nurses for the most part but I certainly was not surprised hen I heard this. In fact, I answered the question correctly before I heard the answer. And with my knowledge in the medical field for 50 years , I feel it is correct.

    1. Did you have much hospital experience? I would be interested in what part of the big picture you think males hospitalists are missing.

      Generalities aside, in a hospital setting, with a traditionally sickly population, (65+), data and treatment, one would think, would be generally consistent. So in order to show those types of differences in mortality and readmission rates within that population, male doctors must be dropping the ball…consistently…in one or both of those areas.

    2. This is fascinating to me. I wonder what it is about the female medical professionals who don’t get tunnel vision, as you say.

      1. CMS should be interested in the readmission rate difference. They’ve been talking about basing Medicare reimbursement rates based on “quality,” (instead of straight fee for service), the standard of which would be largely determined by readmission rates. So hospitals and…you would think…doctors would be interested in finding the answers as well.
        You would think.

        That also brings up the question of how the flavors of Medicare (public/public-private) are represented in the study population.

        There’s other issues that come to mind. How these patients came to the hospital (ER or walk-in/referral). What kind of hospitals (public, private, for profit, not).

        I won’t argue with “women make better doctors.” That’s been my experience overall. But because the study focused on hospitalists, where, one would think, there would be consistent standards of practice imposed upon resident hospitalists as a matter of policy…regardless of gender…there has to be something in the data pertaining to the delivery of care that should explain the disparity. Or most of it.

        It’s a BFD. And has the potential to improve care for everyone.

        I wish I could get to the JAMA article. But that’s not happening yet.

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