Outcomes after surgeries involving physicians as patients have not been researched. This study compares postoperative adverse events between physicians as surgical patients and nonhealth professional controls.Using reimbursement claims data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Program, we conducted a matched retrospective cohort study of 7973 physicians as surgical patients and 7973 propensity score-matched nonphysician controls receiving in-hospital major surgeries between 2004 and 2010. We compared postoperative major complications, length of hospital stay, intensive care unit (ICU), medical expenditure, and 30-day mortality.Compared with nonphysician controls, physicians as surgical patients had lower adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of postoperative deep wound infection (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.40-0.99; P < 0.05), prolonged length of stay (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.62-0.75; P < 0.0001), ICU admission (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.66-0.83; P < 0.0001), and increased medical expenditure (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.73-0.88; P < 0.0001). Physicians as surgical patients were not associated with 30-day in-hospital mortality after surgery. Physicians working at medical centers (P < 0.05 for all), dentists (P < 0.05 for all), and those with fewer coexisting medical conditions (P < 0.05 for all) had lower risks for postoperative prolonged length of stay, ICU admission, and increased medical expenditure.Although our study's findings suggest that physicians as surgical patients have better outcomes after surgery, future clinical prospective studies are needed for validation.
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