Women in medicine in the media...this article made some big headlines this week: Patients Cared For By Female Doctors Fare Better Than Those Treated By Men This is an article reviewing a recent Harvard research study that showed female doctors who care for elderly hospitalized patients get better results. Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge. Attention-grabbing and thought-provoking for sure. Should you see only female doctors and expect better care? This is particularly pertinent given practicing medicine here in southeastern Idaho, where female physicians are roughly 10% of the medical staff, far less than the 50% noted nationwide.
I certainly have patients who let me know that they choose to see me in part because I am female. Mostly other women, they feel more comfortable seeing a female and hope that I can bring a commonality of gender and a certain understanding of their female-specific needs to our patient visits. For myself, I have seen good and bad female doctors and good and bad male doctors.
I think health care is in a state of crisis these days, with many, if not most, patients feeling unheard and underserved. I think the most important thing is to find a doctor or midlevel that listens to you, and runs an office that is responsive to your needs. (This is an incredible challenge, as I speak from one working in the trenches, but I am continually striving to improve the mechanics of my office to meet patient needs, to make sure patients can get in to see a provider in a timely fashion and that their questions get answered). Our practice has both male and female physicians and mid-level providers. The most important trait, in my opinion, is finding a health care provider you trust, who listens to you and who strives to provide you with the best healthcare possible. Keep moving, Dr. Vlach and all of Eastern Idaho Spine, Sports & Rehab Center