In a study published in the BMJ, Ruth L. Newhouse associate professor Anupam B. Jena, PhD, MD, and colleagues determined that while the age of a surgeon can affect operative mortality, sex of the surgeon does not.
Using national data on United States Medicare beneficiaries, the study concluded that the highest rate of operative mortality, 6.6%, occurred when surgeons were under 40 years old. Surgeons aged 60 and old had a lower operative mortality rate (6.3%).
No evidence supported the claim that the sex of the surgeon had any effect on mortality rates. Rates did not differ between those patients treated by a male versus female surgeon, and mortality rates decreased for both male and female surgeons with age.