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That might be particularly important for older patients, such as those studied by Tsugawa and colleagues, who are more likely than younger adults to be accompanied by a family member.
While these average differences are statistically significantly, Roter was careful to note: “That doesn’t mean that all women doctors are better than all men doctors.
They tend to ask more questions to elicit patients’ opinions and check for mutual understanding.
They tend to ask more questions and provide more counseling on psychosocial issues related to lifestyle, daily living activities, social relationships, coping strategies, and stress.“They’re also more emotionally responsive,” Roter said.
Similarly, women are less likely to be chosen as speakers in grand rounds, a form of continuing education that helps doctors stay up to date on clinical care and new research information.
Nonetheless, research indicates women do just as well as male doctors in terms of patient outcomes, and they communicate better with their patients.
A hundred years before that, few medical schools admitted women at all.
According to Tsugawa, Wallis, and their co-authors, differences in average outcomes between patients of female and male doctors might reflect differences in practice patterns.
For instance, several studies have found that female doctors are more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and provide more frequent preventive care than their male counterparts.
Despite the barriers that many women physicians face, studies suggest that female doctors achieve patient outcomes that are as good or better on average than those of their male peers.
In 2013, researchers in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reported that patients of female physicians had comparable mortality rates to patients of male physicians. Wallis and colleagues compared postoperative outcomes in patients aged 18 years and older in Canada, .
Research has also found that female doctors tend to use more patient-centered communication, which some studies have .“The work that my colleagues and I have done has demonstrated that there are very distinct gender-linked patterns of communication among male and female doctors,” Debra Roter, Dr PH, a professor of health, behavior, and society at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, told Healthline.