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New Study Says Female Doctors Save More Lives Than Male Doctors

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Patients of female doctors had “significantly lower mortality rates,” readmission rates, and fewer emergency room visits—so why are they paid less?

There’s more reason than just plain old feminist empowerment to tell young women they can be doctors. According to a new study, female doctors save more lives than male doctors. Yup, researchers at Harvard University (so you know it’s legit) studied Medicare data tracking nearly 1.6 million hospitalizations and found that patients of female doctors had “significantly lower mortality rates,” readmission rates, and fewer emergency room visits than their male counterparts. The results are based in even more science, since studies have already concluded that female doctors have different “practice patterns” than men and are more likely to stick to clinical guidelines and have an “evidence-based practice.”

Females make up about one-third of the United States’ physician workforce and half of all medical school graduates, according to the new study. If men were as good as females, around 32,000 patients — just on Medicare alone — would be saved each year, according to The Atlantic. But here’s the rub — female physicians make about 8 percent (or almost $20,000 a year) less than male doctors.

Like always, better at the job, but making less money. So, if there’s data that says women are better at their jobs, it might be a good way to start changing the gender wage gap, at least in the healthcare industry.

According to another study, that wage gap is likely due to women taking breaks in their career for maternity leave and to care for their family, since the researchers accounted for things like age, specialty, how much they publish, or participate in research trials, and all of that. At the end of the day, female doctors make less money than men. The fact that there is now evidence that female doctors have better outcomes with patients could be a way to boost the argument that pay should be based on performance when it comes to the medical industry.

Of course, no one should run out and just drop their male doctor in the chance event that they might die quicker (although, ya know, SCIENCE). If anything, in addition to being a little bit of evidence that women should be paid equally, maybe females could femsplain medical practice to their male peers. I mean, if the male way of doing things is actively killing people (not to sound like a misandrist, but you know), the ladies might have some knowledge to drop.

It’s worth considering, at the very least. Who needs Harvard? Grey’s Anatomy already taught us that.

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