MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brad N. Greenwood PhD
Information & Decision Sciences
Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Minneapolis
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There has been growing work in medicine which suggests both that a) women are more skilled physicians across a variety of ailments and b) women are particularly challenging heart attack patients (for a variety of reasons ranging from delays in seeking treatment to atypical presentation). When you coupled this with the deep literatures in economics, sociology, and political science which suggests that advocatees experience better outcomes when they share traits with their advocates, it seemed plausible that there might be differences in outcomes.
The key finding is that gender concordance matters most for female patients: female patients are about 0.7-1.2% more likely to die if treated by a male doctor, relative to a female doctor. This number seems small. But, if the survival rate among the female heart attack patients treated by male doctor was the same as the survival rate among female heart attack patients treated by female doctors, about 1,500-3,000 fewer of the female heart attack patients in our sample would have passed away. Our sample covers the state of Florida from 1991-2010. Florida is about 10% of the US population. Continue reading