PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study of hospital patients looked to answer whether women or men make better doctors.

The study found that patients treated by women physicians were less likely to die, or have to come back to the hospital, than those treated by men. The study was conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Patients over 65, who were hospitalized with common ailments, were observed.

Dr. Ashish Jha, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute told CBS News that Women physicians are more likely to practice evidence-based medicine and stick with clinical guidelines, and patients report that women doctors are more highly effective.” Jha wanted to see if these difference proved to impact results.

The study showed that patients treated by women has a four percent lower risk of dying and a five percent lower risk of having to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Researchers reported seeing the same results when broken down by the severity of illnesses.

So, what if the numbers for male doctors were the same?

“We’d save about 32,000 lives just in the Medicare population, and that’s about how many people die in motor vehicle accidents every year,” Jha told CBS News.

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