When given a choice between a male or a female doctor, who would you rather see? Research shows that now more than ever, the answer for most patients—both men and women alike—is that female physicians are preferred. Many medical practices certainly do value their women doctors, but what specifically makes them different?
One of the underlying reasons is that females are naturally more nurturing toward others. Typically spending more time with patients to ensure that health complaints or other issues are being properly addressed, women often take on an almost motherly role in such situations. Men, on the other hand, tend to cycle through their patients at a faster rate…resulting in frequent repeat appointments due to unanswered questions.
Studies have additionally shown that females and males practice medicine quite differently. Women are more likely to support clinical guidelines that have been set in place and are much more forthcoming toward their patients regarding whether they need to try certain medications. Research demonstrates that patients treated by female physicians had significantly lower mortality rates and re-admission rates compared with those cared for by male physicians in the same hospital.
Many people tend to communicate better and feel more open when talking to a female doctor. Males may appear more dominant or authoritative, sometimes intimidating concerned patients who have questions but don’t want to “take up too much of the doctor’s time.” This comfort level—or lack thereof—may inhibit a conversation that could help pinpoint and identify certain diseases and illnesses at an early stage, increasing the chances of treating them at a more manageable stage of advancement.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to selecting a physician—whether male or female, younger or older, as part of a large office or a smaller, family practice—but it’s clear that the gender factor has some interesting data surrounding it.
Regardless of whom you choose, be sure to stay up-to-date with your regular check-ups and health monitoring tests. Awareness and vigilance are your best bets in living a long and happy life.