Female surgeons' patients have better long-term outcomes: Study

Patients treated by female surgeons are less likely to experience adverse outcomes 90 days to one year after surgery, according to a study published Aug. 30 in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers in the U.S. and Canada analyzed data on 1.2 million adults who underwent common surgeries between 2007 and 2020 in Ontario, Canada.

Patients operated on by female surgeons were less likely to be readmitted, have major medical complications or die, researchers found. Though the difference in outcomes was modest, this trend was seen across various hospital types, surgeries and patients. 

This disparity likely relates to how well female physicians listen to patients and select the appropriate care, as opposed to differences between male and female surgeons' technical skills in the operating room, according to study author Angela Jerath, MD, an anesthesiologist and associate professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Toronto. 

"Picking up problems early is where you start to save patients," she told The Wall Street Journal.

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