What does the gender pay gap look like for medical professionals? Here’s the latest research about the gender pay gap and what you can do to help make it smaller.
The gender pay gap refers to a difference in salary between men and women who are performing the same job function. Even though they both have the same education, training, qualifications, and job position, a female doctor often receives less compensation than her male counterpart.
In 2019, male primary care physicians were making on average about 25% more than female primary care physicians, while male specialists were making about 33% more than female specialists.
Despite recent efforts to establish workforce equality between men and women, the annual physician compensation report from Doximity found that the gender pay gap grew from a 25% to a 28% disparity in 2020.
There are a variety of complex social and cultural reasons why the gender pay gap among medical professionals still persists today. A common criticism of recent research claims that salary comparisons are inaccurate because they do not account for experience, speciality, work location, etc. However, more in-depth research is finding that significant differences in salary for men and women still exist even after accounting for age, experience, specialty, faculty rank, measures of research productivity, and clinical revenue.
Dr. Gebhard, co-chair of the American Medical Women’s Association’s (AMWA) Gender Equality Task Force, recalled a salary negotiation lecture she helped host in which a woman raised her hand and claimed she was joining a faculty where everyone was paid the same. The entire room groaned. Dr. Gebhard concluded, “Clearly, women out there think everything is fair and people are paid the same. They don’t know they’re being paid less.”
One of the best things you can do to close the gender pay gap is to make sure that you are aware of it. Stay up to date with the latest trends and look for opportunities to narrow the gap, such as:
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2020 Physician Compensation Report, Fourth Annual Study. Doximity. Accessed Dec 11, 2020. https://c8y.doxcdn.com/image/upload/Press%20Blog/Research%20Reports/compensation-report-2020.pdf
Sex Differences in Physician Salary in US Public Medical Schools. JAMA Internal Medicine. Accessed Dec 11, 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2532788
Gender Pay Gaps in Hospital Medicine. The Hospitalist. Accessed Dec 11, 2020. https://www.the-hospitalist.org/hospitalist/article/125408/gender-pay-gaps-hospital-medicine
How to Close the Gender Pay Gap in U.S. Medicine. Harvard Business Review. Accessed Dec 11, 2020. https://hbr.org/2019/11/how-to-close-the-gender-pay-gap-in-u-s-medicine