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Study finds female doctors have more success with patients

When considering your long-term health and hospital treatment options, you want a doctor who has experience. You want a doctor who is well-trained and highly educated. You want a doctor who will offer you the highest level of care.

According to one study, you may also want a female doctor.

The study was carried out by professionals at Harvard University, and it looked at patients who got treatment between January of 2011 and December of 2014. The sample group was random, but over 1.5 million cases were considered.

Among other things, the researchers found that those who saw male doctors had a greater likelihood of dying within a month after they were discharged. They also had a greater chance of being admitted again in the next 30 days, even if they survived. Those who saw female doctors were less likely to return in a month and less likely to die.

One professional who co-authored the study said that factors that influenced patients' overall health included more effective communication coming from female doctors. These doctors also practiced evidence-based medicine more often and stuck closely to clinical guidelines.

Of course, it's dangerous to paint with a broad brush, and this certainly isn't to say that all male doctors are going to be incompetent or provide sub-par care. However, as these 1.5 million cases were examined, clear trends did emerge. It is important for patients to know both how they can get the best possible care and what legal options they have when that care falls short of expectations and they suffer for it.

Source: The Mercury News, "Hospital patients do better with women doctors than men, study finds," Shefali Luthra, Dec. 27, 2016

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