About 44% of medical students are female, which is much better percentage than 20 or thirty years ago. Female physicians earn less than their male counterparts, but fortunately that gap is closing.

Are female doctors better at their jobs than males? A recent study suggests that, at least for internists, this might be the case. In this study, patients of female hospitalists (doctors who care for hospitalized patients) were less likely to die or be readmitted within 30 days than similar patients cared for by male physicians.

This study doesn’t address the reasons why females did better but several theories come to mind. Perhaps females are more patient and more willing to listen to patients. Perhaps too they are more attuned to nuances of patient conditions.

After all, we males have enough difficulties just understanding what our wives or significant others mean when they talk about “the relationship”.

This study by the way only examined internists, though I suspect that the results probably would be similar across many medical specialties.

It might be time for us male doctors to take a good hard look at how we practice medicine. We might start by turning to our generally less paid female counterparts for some ideas.