Tsugawa Y, Jena AB et al. JAMA Intern Med 2016. 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7875.

The aim of this study was to find out if outcomes for elderly patients differ following treatment by either male physicians or female physicians. In this study, one and a half million Medicare patients were followed. Regardless of the medical condition and severity of the illness, patients treated by female physicians had a lower 30-day mortality and fewer admissions. A possible explanation for this finding is that female physicians are more likely to follow evidence-based practice. But a commentary on this paper ( contends that as patients are cared for by teams of health care providers, it could be that women are better team leaders. It is also stated in the same commentary that 'career interruptions for child-rearing, (and) higher rates of part-time employment' may to the contrary, compromise the quality of care offer by female physicians. Provocatively it has been suggested that this could justify higher salaries for male physicians.