A new study suggests that patients treated by female surgeons instead of their male counterparts had slightly lower death rates in the weeks following their procedures.
The team of researchers led by Dr. Raj Satkunasivam, a Houston Methodist surgeon and researcher who was working at the University of Toronto during the time of the study, wanted to see if a surgeon’s gender had an effect on patients’ health in the first month after a procedure.
The researchers said they believe it’s worth exploring the differences in the way that women and men practice medicine in case there are potentially significant variations that will benefit future education in the field.
The researchers compared the procedural outcomes of 104,630 patients undergoing a broad range of surgeries by 3,314 surgeons between 2007 and 2016 in Ontario.
The researchers say that As there were limitations to their study and that although an association could be established between female surgeons and lower mortality rates, definitive causation couldn’t be determined with certainty. Because of this, Satkunasivam stressed that patients shouldn’t worry about the sex of their surgeon.