Navigation Links
Large study finds that physician gender does not affect patient-care costs or mortality
Date:3/13/2013

Female doctors' patients do not use health-care services more or die less frequently than patients treated by male doctors, a prospective, observational study by researchers at UC Davis Health System has found.

The study, published in the March-April issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, is the first large, nationwide evaluation of the association between provider gender and patients' use of health-care services and mortality.

"Our findings suggest that if the goal is to contain costs and the risk of death, there is no reason to differentially recruit or train physicians of either gender," said lead author Anthony Jerant, professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis. "We should instead focus on factors such as patients' cigarette smoking and diet, which are known to influence health-care utilization and mortality."

Jerant and his colleagues analyzed the responses of a representative sample of 21,365 patients aged 18 years and older who participated in the U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys from 2002 to 2008. They found that the genders of the participants' usual sources of health care, regardless of specialty field, did not affect patient health-care or prescription-drug expenditures, deaths or the number of visits to hospitals, emergency rooms and medical offices. A usual source of care was defined as any medical professional, doctor's office, clinic, health center or other place the patient would go if sick or needing health advice.

The authors noted that their outcomes contradict the results of previous investigations suggesting that patient-centered communications and related medical-practice behaviors frequently associated with female providers may lower patients' use of health-care services and costs. In addition to being smaller than the current study, those prior investigations did not account extensively for patient health behaviors and characteristics, including weight and tobacco use, which could influence the frequency of medical visits.

"We suspect that failing to comprehensively account for these factors might have made it appear that provider gender is independently associated with health-care utilization," Jerant said.

Because it was based on a large national sample population, the UC Davis evaluation had the statistical power to determine that a provider's gender does not affect health-care costs or mortality, according to Jerant. He and his collaborators conducted additional analyses of two subgroups: patients whose physicians' gender did not change during the timeframe of the study even if they changed doctors; and patients who switched within the study timeframe to doctors of a different gender. The results of these secondary evaluations supported their initial finding.

When the researchers investigated the ages, genders and other characteristics of patients whose health-care providers were either male or female, they found that female physicians cared for more female patients who were young, college educated and resided in urban areas than did male physicians, indicating that there are patient characteristics associated with preferences for male or female doctors. Their study also noted that more female than male physicians were non-Caucasian.

"Female providers are contributing to greater diversity in the health-care provider workforce, which is an important aim both for social equity and to ensure that patients can choose providers they feel comfortable with," said Jerant. "However, our findings clearly emphasize the importance of looking beyond gender to determine the patient and provider characteristics that can positively influence the process, quality and costs of care."


'/>"/>
Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
2. Statins May Help Prevent Enlarged Prostate: Study
3. Flu shot during pregnancy shows unexpected benefits in large study
4. Overweight Moms More Apt to Have Large Babies, Study Says
5. Chemotherapy effective for patients with resected SCLC or large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma
6. State Laws Cut Teen Drinking and Driving, Large Study Shows
7. Infants cant distinguish between large and small groups
8. Smallest, Largest Fetuses at Higher Risk of Stillbirth
9. Study finds new gene mutations that lead to enlarged brain size, cancer, autism, epilepsy
10. OnPage Provides Secure, Rapid Response at New England’s Largest Catholic Hospital
11. Obesity, larger waist size associated with better outcomes in heart failure patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... MIAMI, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Florida Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this ... of Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: