Older women treated in hospitals by female doctors rather than male doctors have a lower mortality rate. This conclusion is drawn from a study by Japanese and US researchers, as reported by DER SPIEGEL. The study used data from more than 770,000 patients aged 65 and older. Are female doctors better than male doctors?

“For women, the mortality rate within 30 days after treatment was only 8.15 percent when treated by a female doctor, compared to 8.38 percent when treated by a male doctor. This difference, while small, is ‘clinically significant,’ according to the study authors.” For some conditions, such as kidney and urinary tract disorders, female patients also had to return to the hospital less often if treated by female doctors.

Moreover: “Even men benefited from treatment by a female doctor, although to a much lesser extent.”

Where might the reasons for the differences lie? “The research team speculates that male doctors may underestimate the severity of illness in women, leading to delays in treatment. Additionally, female doctors may communicate more effectively and focus more on their patients. Finally, women may be more open with female doctors about sensitive topics.” It is also known that female doctors are more likely to adhere to scientifically based medical treatment guidelines than male doctors.

Comparable studies in previous years had already led to similar results according to DER SPIEGEL.