A new study suggests that patients treated by female surgeons are less likely to experience post-operative issues than those treated by male surgeons.
Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Sinai Health, University Health Network and the University of Toronto teamed up with collaborators at US universities to analyse the outcomes of more than 1.2 million patients who underwent common surgeries in Ontario between 2007 and 2019.
In a paper published in the journal JAMA Surgery, the authors found that patients operated on by female surgeons were less likely to suffer complications, including death, at both 90 days and one year after the procedure. The gender-based differences were modest but consistent, even after accounting for a variety of factors that can influence surgical outcomes.
Angela Jerath, a scientist at Sunnybrook and associate professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s department of anaesthesiology and pain medicine says that the findings suggest the differences do not come down to skill with the scalpel, but listening to patients and choosing the right care.
“Picking up problems early is where you start to save patients,” she said.
The study built on earlier findings that showed female patients treated by male surgeons were more likely to die or suffer complications.