2017-10-11 From cbc.com

Patients of female surgeons did slightly better following surgery than those whose surgeons were male, according to a Canadian study published in a British medical journal.

The BMJ study compared outcomes for patients undergoing one of 25 surgical operations by female surgeons with patients undergoing the same procedures by male surgeons. The doctors were the same age, with similar levels of experience. A total of 104,630 patients were treated by 3,314 surgeons over the study period. All patients came from hospitals in Ontario.

Patients treated by female surgeons were four per cent less likely to die in the 30 days after an operation, says Dr. Raj Satkunasivam, a Canadian and a surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. Satkunasivam was the lead author of the study. 

"We have good evidence to support the notion that female surgeons are at least as good and possibly better than their male counterparts," says Satkunasivam, but he cautions that "we don't want to send the message that, as a patient, you should favour one sex over the other.

"We want to use this data to bring about equality," he says. "Our findings have important implications for supporting sex equality and diversity in a traditionally male-dominated profession."

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