A female physician researcher might find the idea of a $12,194 raise enticing, and she would only have to do one thing: swap genders.
A female physician researcher might find the idea of a $12,194 raise enticing, and she would only have to do one thing: swap genders. A new study in revealed that even in a relatively homogenous group of physician researchers, there are differences in gender pay.
There have been a number of studies to reveal gender differences in physicians’ pay, but there are a number of factors that have been considered to contribute. However, the study in the June 13 issue of determined that a salary difference existed even when adjusting for such factors as differences in specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank and work hours, among others.
The analysis included 272 female and 553 males. The average age of the respondents was 45 and 76% were white.
Overall, the average salary for female physician researchers was $167,669, while men earned $200,433. And with additional analysis the researchers determined that if the women in the study were male, but retained all the other characteristics measured, their average expected salary would be $12,194 higher.
“This study, which considered a homogeneous population of physicians, demonstrates a substantial and significant gender difference in salary, one-third of which is unexplained by differences in specialty, productivity, or numerous other measured factors,” the authors wrote.
The authors did note that women tended to be in lower-paying specialties and specialty choices explained much of the overall gender differences in salary. While 34% of women were in the lowest-paying category, only 22% of men were. And 3% of women compared to 11% of men were in the highest-paying category.
Leadership positions could also explain the overall difference, but the authors noted that women might advance slower and be paid less because they are being passed over for leadership positions that a male colleague receives.
“Ultimately, this study provides evidence that gender differences in compensation continue to exist in academic medicine...” according to the report. “Efforts to investigate the mechanisms by which these gender differences develop and ways to mitigate their effects merit continued attention, as these differences have not been eliminated through the passage of time alone and are difficult to justify.”