Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Women patients at greater risk when male surgeon operates, study finds

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According to a study published in the December 8 issue of the medical journal JAMA Surgery, women who were operated on by a male surgeon had more negative consequences than women who were operated on by female doctors.

U.S. and Canadian researchers analyzed more than 1.3 million patients treated by 2,397 surgeons in Ontario, Canada between 2007 and 2019.. They found that female patients treated by male surgeons were 15% more likely to achieve worse outcomes than women treated by female surgeons.

In women operated on by male surgeons, the risk of death increased by 32%, serious complications by 16%, and hospitalization by 11% within 30 days after surgery. researchers found.

In most cases, men achieved similar results when operated on by a male or female surgeon. However, mortality in men operated on by a male surgeon was 13% higher than in men treated by a female surgeon.

“Women surgeons are doing something right – we need to know what it is and address it,” said study co-author Dr. Angela Jerat.

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Jerat and co-author of the study, Dr. Christopher Wallis of Temerty Medical School at the University of Toronto, were motivated to explore the field because of the growing trend of medical research. A previous study co-authored by Wallis in 2017 found good results for patients treated by female surgeons, and the researchers tried to continue this work.

“Some male surgeons may be at risk because of our research. However, we believe the alternative is to allow all patients to learn, develop, and improve care,” said Wallis, an associate professor of urology.

A study published in the American Journal of Surgery in 2020 found that discriminatory perceptions of female surgeons ’incompetence and incompetence were disproportionate, despite evidence in Wallis’ 2017 study that female surgeons had slightly better patient outcomes than male surgeons. A 2020 study published in the American Journal of Surgery found that female surgeons experienced career advancement opportunities, less representation in leadership positions, decreased academic productivity, and more home and child-rearing responsibilities.

Jerat and Wallis point out that it will not be easy to correct these differences in health care. They hope that their research can teach surgeons the non-technical skills needed to maximize results for all patients, regardless of gender.

You can connect with author Michelle Shen @ michelle_shen10 via Twitter.

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