Are Female Surgeons Better?
Are female surgeons better than their male counterparts? Forbes recently summarized the findings of a study published in JAMA Surgery. The bottom line of the study is this: Female patients have higher chances of complications when their surgeon is male, and lower chances of complications when their surgeon is female. This is not the first study to report that patients fare better with female doctors. Read on to hear our take on the findings.
Are Female Surgeons Better at Listening to their Patients?
The study found that the combination of male surgeons with female patients resulted in the weakest physician-patient relationship. On the contrary, the strongest relationships for female patients were found to be with female surgeons. Why might that be? Are female surgeons better at listening to their patients?
Forbes and JAMA Surgery report that their findings are consistent with prior research where male physicians fail to appreciate the severity of symptoms of female patients. Studies showed that female patients tend to be less open with their male physicians. These findings are in line with previous studies suggesting that women surgeons listen better and are less likely to minimize your concerns.
The embracing of strong communication with patients may also explain why female surgeons have lower complication rates. Male patients had no difference in complication rates regardless of whether their doctor was a woman or man. The study goes on to suggest that the patient-physician relationship further develops with a strong patient-centered approach.
Are Female Surgeons Better at Patient-Centered Care?
Female surgeons are more likely than male surgeons to provide patient-centered care, according to the Forbes and JAMA surgery report. This means that we see you as a whole person. Female surgeons are more likely to take time to learn about your goals, your daily activities and any potential barriers that may get in the way of achieving success.
Studies show that patient-centered care results in better outcomes. Male patients with female surgeons did not experience the minimizing of the severity of the symptoms, like pain (when compared to female patients of male physicians).
This is very likely because women surgeons implement patient-centered care when treating men and women (and really understand all the challenges the patient faces – male or female), as the Forbes article notes. Since male physicians are less likely to implement patient-centered care, this study proposes that could be one of the reasons that the female patients of male surgeons suffer complications at higher rates than their male patients.
What Does this Mean for You?
There are not a lot of female plastic surgeons in the greater Triangle NC area (or beyond!) who are board-certified and focus on cosmetic, aesthetic plastic surgery. To be exact, women make up 12% of all board-certified Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Almost half of the folks in training to become plastic surgeons are women, so the gender gap is closing.
To quote the invited editorial commentary, “Surgical Outcomes Should Know No Identity.” I firmly believe that. Yes, this study shows that women surgeons are able to deliver consistent care — regardless of the gender of our patients. As a board-certified female surgeon, I embrace a patient-centered approach. You are a whole person and deserve to be treated as such. I think the most important takeaway from this study is that you should take the time to meet and interview several plastic surgeons to find the right fit for you.
Ensure this person understands your goals. Are you both able to communicate and understand each other? You are not a data point. Neither is your doctor – so make sure you don’t go with the first person, male or female, to come along. This is your body. This is your dream. You deserve a doctor who understands you.
Interested to see if a female surgeon is a better fit for you? Call (919) 797-0996 to schedule your consultation today!
Folks come to see us from all over. That is probably because of that 12% I mentioned above – there just are not very many female plastic surgeons. Not surprisingly, patients travel from all the corners of Raleigh plus Apex, Holly Springs, Fuqua-Varina, Cary, Morrisville, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Pittsboro, Garner, Knightdale, RTP, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons, Wake Forest, Wilmington, Fayetteville and the surrounding areas for our unique approach to cosmetic plastic surgery, Botox, and filler.
If you are looking for the best plastic surgeon and the best Botox injector for you, be sure to do your research! We hope our all-women, all-star team can help you regain your confidence and move forward as the brightest version of you.