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Small Study Finds Women are Better Doctors than Men

Update Date: Oct 18, 2013 02:41 PM EDT

Within the medical field, the stereotypes that men are doctors and women are nurses continue to exist. Even though there are more male doctors, women have been entering this field more and more over the past few years. Now, in a new but small study, researchers are reporting that when it comes to caring for diabetic patients, female doctors might be better at the job than male doctors.

In this new study headed by researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada, the team recruited 870 physicians from Quebec. Half of the sample set was female and the other half was male. The team, which was made up of Valérie Martel, a masters candidate in the school's department of health administration, Régis Blais, a professor in the department, and Roxanne Borges Da Silva, a professor of nursing, observed how the doctors treated diabetic patients. The doctors were tested based on three standard diabetic treatments, which were prescribing periodic eye exams, conducting physical check-ups and helping patients stick to a healthy mixture of three diabetic medications.

"Women had significantly higher scores in terms of compliance with practice guidelines," said Martel according to TIME. "They were more likely than men to prescribe recommended medications and to plan required examinations."

Even though the researchers found that female doctors were more likely to adhere to the standard treatment guidelines, they did not find out why this gender-difference occurred. The researchers noted that female doctors tended to spend more time with their patients whereas male doctors were able to see more patients since they worked faster. The researchers stated that working too fast could be jeopardizing care, but due to the lack of evidence, the researchers could not conclude that this was the case. The team now plans on studying three other health conditions, which are hypertension, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to see if gender differences affect level of care.

The University of Montreal released the report.

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