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Are women better doctors than men?

The Annals of Cardiology No. 24 | Are women better doctors than men? Do female medical students outnumber males? What are the ways you can be your own advocate in the emergency room? Find out in this week’s installment…

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The Annals of Cardiology No.24 | Are women better doctors than men?

You can read the introduction below or read the full version here.

What do you look for in a doctor? I’m guessing competence is right up there, someone who’s up to date, not too intimidating; someone who listens. Is it important your doctor be the same ethnicity as you? Why? How about gender – does it matter whether you’re looked after by a man or a woman? Now let me ask another question – do you think, if you’re having a heart attack, that it’s wrong to ask for the best possible care in the Emergency Room? Should you just accept whatever doctor is assigned to you? Do you have a choice? If you’re a woman, you might want to continue reading.

Last month a study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled “Patient-Physician Gender Concordance and Increased Mortality Among Female Heart Attack Patients” The authors were from Washington University, Harvard, and the University of Minnesota; two men and one woman. They examined records of heart attack patients in Florida hospitals from 1991-2010. They found that male and female patients had similar outcomes if treated by a female emergency room doctor. But when female patients were treated by male doctors they were more likely to die (13.3% of women died versus 12.6% of men). That may not seem like a big difference, but when you do the math – about 1500 women cared for by male doctors would have survived had they been looked after by female doctors. What if one of those 1500 was your mother or sister or wife who had taken the kids to Disneyworld on school break?

Continued in the full newsletter…

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