It's no secret that gender has played a huge role in the workforce throughout history. The progression of modern society has eliminated much of the widespread perception that women can't be equal to men, but the progress will never be enough until women achieve equality across the board. Thankfully they continue to prove anything men can do women can do better, or just as well.
If you were preparing to go under the knife for surgery, would the gender of the person performing your surgery matter? A team of researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital conducted a study published in The BMJ that examines the outcomes of patients treated by male surgeons compared to female surgeons. Well, if you'd prefer a man, you may want to get over your biases because the new research suggests that you just might want the person holding the scalpel to be a woman.
Surgery has been a male-dominated field due to far fewer women enrolling in medical school. Couple that with the fact that most men perceived that women didn't possess the temperament to make life or death decisions in the operating room, and you have the main factors that lead to an outdated biased way of thinking.
The good news is that according to the latest reports, female surgeons have lower death rates, fewer complications, and lower readmissions to the hospitals a month after procedures when compared to the patients of male surgeons. To reach this conclusion, the study encompassed the more than 104,000 people in Ontario, Canada who had operations from 2007 to 2015.
To be fair, since surgery is a field that drastically improves with experience, researchers did their part to compare apple to apple by comparing surgeons matched by age and experience. There was also an effort to account for the difficulty of complex procedures. Even with all of the adjustments to make the comparisons as fair as possible, the patients of the female surgeons were 4 percent less likely to die, be readmitted, or experience complications than the patients of male surgeons.
This research presented great news, but at the same time, more research needs to be conducted to understand why this difference that seems to be based on gender occurs. In the meantime, you should never select a surgeon based on gender. Instead, focus on your rapport and level of comfort with that particular surgeon.