Medicine

Women Heart Attack Patients Do Much Better When Treated By Female Doctors

Women Heart Attack Patients Do Much Better When Treated By Female Doctors

"Such research might include experimental interventions or tests of more targeted training to examine how exposing male physicians more thoroughly to the presentation of female patients might impact outcomes", the team said.

In fact, both men and women suffering heart attacks fared better when treated by female doctors or when treated by men working alongside more female clinicians, the authors reported.

If you're having a heart attack and you're a woman, hope a female doctor greets you in the emergency room.

When patients were treated by male doctors, 12.6pc of men died compared with 13.3pc of women - a difference of 0.7pc.

In a study set to be published next week, researchers looked at more than 500,000 heart attack patients in Florida between the years 1991 and 2010.

Women are more likely to survive heart attacks if treated by women physicians in the emergency room, a new study that reviewed about half a million patients over more than 20 years found.




Such a scenario might also explain another of Greenwood's findings: The more female colleagues a male emergency physician had, the more likely his female patients were to survive as well. But the gender gap closed more than three-fold to 0.2pc when female physicians took charge of treatment.

Despite cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of mortality in American women, there is a societal stigma that heart attacks affect men rather than women.

"Even though lives should be equally saved, we are seeing this pervasive difference", says study co-author Laura Huang, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Much like shoes or skinny jeans, heart attacks can fit women a little differently than men. "It seems that the female doctors practice in a better way or outperform male doctors", says the JAMA study's first author, Yusuke Tsugawa, an assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

And because heart attacks come about suddenly, patients are rarely able to choose their doctor - or his or her gender - when entering an emergency department. In this case, 11.8% of men died compared with 12% of women. While women enter medical school at the same rate as men, they experience higher rates of both burnout and suicide during their time in the field, and men are more likely to advance to higher positions - both largely attributable to gender bias. "And male physicians could learn a thing or two from our female colleagues about how to achieve better outcomes".

"Finally", they write, "interesting opportunities for research exist in an examination of the role played by residents, nurses, and other physicians who may be present or provide information to the supervising physician...future work that considers these supporting figures would advance our understanding of how coordination between [all] healthcare providers might influence the relationship between physician-patient gender concordance and patient survival".