New study reveals that you're less likely to die in the hands of a female surgeon
The plight of female professionals has been at times, well documented, and in turn silenced by mainstream media.
While, we have all heard sexist convictions made against women, many of us are unaware of the prejudice that qualified female professionals continue to face in the workplace. Irrespective of whether they have received top-of-the-line education or training, people continue to discriminate against female professionals; be it a doctors, lawyers or bankers.
Naturally, this goes back to the harmful gender norms that society continues to perpetuate. While women's rights movements have made great progress over the last few decades; many still hold on to age old assertions which expect women to be domestic creatures, nurturing and motherly while men are expected to exhibit signifiers of machismo and bravado. As such, some feel more comfortable when in the presence of male professionals, believing them to be more "competent" - solely on account of their sex.
However, a recent study has surmised that people are actually less likely to die when in the hands of female surgeons.
A study conducted by the University of Toronto has discovered that female surgeons have lower death rates than their male counterparts. This was due to their care being more "patient centred", "in line with guidelines" and their "superior communication" skills.
Researchers compared the outcomes of patients who were undergoing one of 25 surgical procedures by female surgeons with those who were having the same surgery from a male surgeon. The study which took place between 2007 and 2015, involved 104,630 patients and 3,314 surgeons.
The results showed that female surgeons had slightly lower death rates than men, with their patients bein 12 per cent less likely to die as a result of the procedure.
However, the difference was decidedly small; there was only one extra death for every 230 procedures made by a male doctor. Further, those who were treated by men were not more likely to suffer further complications which would involve them being re-admitted to hospital.
This study is sure to be paramount in the push to remove sexism in the medical community. The former president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Professor Clare Marx and the current president, Derek Alderson, spoke to this notion when they stated that the discovery would help to eradicate the "unconscious bias" that patients and staff harbour against female doctors.
"This study helps to combat these lingering biases by confirming the safety, skill, and expertise of women surgeons relative to their male colleagues," they wrote.
However, they also advised people not to get too caught up in the findings, saying that they were not wholly "convinced that the sex of the surgeon will emerge as an important determinant of a good outcome for patients having surgery".
This study is only the most recent of several to conclude that female doctors tend to be more responsible than their male colleagues. In 2015 it was discovered that female doctors were two and a half times less likely to be dismissed or sued for medical negligence than their male physicians.