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Old 12-20-2016, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default Get a female Doctor

Doctors from Harvard have an intriguing suggestion for saving 32,000 lives each year: Make sure all senior citizens who wind up in the hospital are treated by female doctors.

After examining the medical records of Medicare patients from across the country, the Harvard researchers calculated that 10.82% of those treated by physicians who were women died within 30 days of being admitted to the hospital. Among patients treated by male physicians, the 30-day mortality rate was 11.49%, according to a study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine.

That gender gap persisted even after the researchers accounted for factors like the age, gender and income of patients, how sick those patients were when they first checked into the hospital, the resources of the hospitals and the experience of the doctors. In that analysis, the Harvard team found that 11.07% of patients treated by women died within 30 days of being hospitalized, compared with 11.49% of patients treated by men.

The results held up across a wide range of medical conditions, according to the study.

More http://www.latimes.com/science/scien...219-story.html
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:10 AM   #2
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Women are better listeners. I have no doubt that doctors who take more time to listen to what patients and their loved ones are saying make better diagnoses.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:35 AM   #3
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Maybe the male doctors were given the worst cases?
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
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The only doctor I trust here is female.
Since more than a decade, I even switched hospitals to continue being her patient.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:50 PM   #5
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Well yeah , but the male doctors had more fun .


..
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Last edited by Ross; 12-22-2016 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
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The NP I see is in geriatrics and DH switched to her after he wasn't happy with the female dr he was seeing. It all depends on the person and the female dr we had started out listening but after she had her baby she seemed to rushed to listen.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:01 PM   #7
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My experience is 50/50. I had a female doctor from Lebanon in the last town we lived in. She was wonderful, very thorough. I had one in BC, she was not only useless, but also bordering on abusive. Told me I was starving my baby (breastfeeding problems, but not breastfeeding exclusively), was too ignorant to figure out I was positioning her awkwardly...surprise, she'd never had kids.

My current female NP is also useless. I've had good luck with male docs throughout my life.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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Our family practitioner is a gay male. He is very good. Best of both worlds I guess.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:15 PM   #9
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The data are specific to seniors. I wonder if overall, the female doctors may be taking a holistic approach? They MIGHT be more cognizant of social factors surrounding the care of a senior - is there relief time for the main caregiver(s) at home? Can they see past the sometimes maddening tendency of many seniors to not 'complain', when a symptom they're holding back might be crucial to a proper course of treatment?
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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There's a reason that women have been the traditional healers. Holistic, indeed.
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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Read it. There are some facts that the mass media blurbs do not make clear. For instance, the doctors studied were only inpatient specialists: hospitalists. Hospitalists do not have sole care of patients:they work in shifts, usually twelve hours three to four times a week. This means that they never have sole responsibility for patients, which suggests a point that is not addressed: were these all-female teams of docs versus all-male teams (highly doubtful)? If not, then how did the researchers assign responsibility for wellbeing or death?

And: the numbers actually are pretty lousy. NNT (number needed to treat) is 182, which means you'd have to treat that many patients to see an effect in one. A new medication with similar numbers would probably never be approved.

There is also a general air of political correctness about the whole thing (read the intro) which I find troubling in an "impartial" study.

I personally have a female primary care doc, a female oncologist, and even a female urologist. VERY generally speaking, I find that female docs have an edge in compassion and willingness to listen and adapt. But, they are also less aggressive and less knowledgeable (I said, generally speaking, as the brightest internist I've ever met was female).

Bottom line: the best female doc will be better than the worst male doc, and vice versa. While this sort of study is mildly interesting, I've only scratched the surface of the confounding variables that make it, in my humble opinion, useless (guess what: you don't get to choose your hospitalist, they're assigned).
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:43 PM   #12
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Thank you for adding background that certainly changes my perspective of the original story.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:04 PM   #13
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Something got stuck in my craw.

I disavow my "generally speaking" statements above. I find them inadequately informed (data set far too small) and overly subject to the speaker's bias.

I don't like the article. I also don't like parts of my response to it. In my own case, I chose the best doctors I could find given my needs at the time. They happened to be mostly female. My reasons were subjective, and, well, perhaps unreasonable. I would give them little weight, one way or the other.

They're all great docs, though.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
First note the differences are small: 11.1% versus 11.5%.
And then realize these are the “adjusted” and not actual numbers. Adjusted?

They mean adjusted using the statistical technique of regression modeling.
It’s complicated, but everybody forgets that regression is an equation that describes
how the guts inside a model vary as “covariates” or “confounders” do
(these covariates are other possible explanatory variables).
Those guts (which are called parameters) are not observable and do not make
direct statements of what can be observed, like 30-day mortality.
Hence, the researchers should only have spoken indirectly about 30-day mortality
while also acknowledging the uncertainty that accompanies their statistical models.

The researchers did not do this; hence their results are stated in terms
which are too sure. In their favor, theirs is a common error.
Quote:
.....Are there other possible explanations to account for the small differences noted by the models? Yes.
Female docs were about 5 years younger on average, and female docs also treated many fewer patients
on average than men. This implies women docs had more time per patient.

Finally there is this little gem .....

Quote:
Even more intriguing, we also know “female physicians treated slightly higher proportions of female patients than male physicians did.”
And since women live longer than men, particularly at those advanced ages,
maybe — just maybe! — any slight change in mortality or readmission rates
between male and female docs could be explained by women doctors treating more longer-lived patients.

Source of extract and more detail here .
..
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Last edited by Ross; 12-24-2016 at 04:55 AM.
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