DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS

Some experts have suggested it may be because women's symptoms are different than men's, or that they tend to delay treatment more often than men.

This study offers a new explanation for why gender inequality in heart attack mortality persists.

"Most physicians are male, and male physicians appear to have trouble treating female patients," said the report.

Researchers found that the more women a male doctor treated in his life, the less likely his female patients were to die.

However, this presented a "catch-22" because it suggests a certain number of women must die so that the doctor could learn from his mistakes.

"This decrease may come at the expense of earlier female patients," said the report. One problem is that most doctors are male, so matching female doctors to female patients just isn't possible much of the time.
The solution may be simply to add more female doctors in emergency departments, researchers argued.

"Given the cost of male physicians' learning on the job, it may be more effective to increase the presence of female physicians."

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