Disparity almost the same as four years ago
A Merritt Hawksins survey indicates that wide pay gaps persist between male and female physicians in Maryland.
The survey shows that average annual 2020 pre-tax income for male Maryland physicians was $320,000 compared to $213,000 for female physicians, a difference of 49.6%. This is virtually the same disparity found in a similar survey Merritt Hawkins conducted for MedChi in 2018 examining the 2016 incomes Maryland physicians.
The disparity isn’t much different regardless of specialty. The average 2020 pre-tax income for male primary care physicians in Maryland was $262,542, compared to $172,542 for females, a difference of 41.2%. The average 2020 pre-tax income for male surgical, diagnostic, and other specialists was $350,625, compared to $250,115 for females, a difference of 33.5%. Male physicians in Maryland who are in private practice make 30.9% more than female physicians in private practice, while employed Maryland male physicians make 39.3% more than female employed physicians.
These disparities are despite the fact that both male and female physicians work the same number of work hours each week.
“We see little difference in the employment contracts of male and female physicians,” said James Taylor, Group President and CEO of AMN Healthcare’s Leadership Solutions division, which includes Merritt Hawkins, in a statement. “Nevertheless, the data show that female Maryland physicians earn less than males, even when specialty, hours worked, practice status and age are factored into the equation”
Income disparities among Maryland physicians also are seen among different ethnic groups. The average annual 2020 income for Maryland Asian/Asian American physicians tracked in the survey was $325,000, compared to $268,000 for white physicians and $225,000 for Black/African American physicians in the state.
Pandemic hurt physician income overall
The survey suggests that the pandemic has had an inhibiting effect on the incomes of Maryland physicians. The average pre-tax 2020 income of Maryland physicians responding to the survey was $276,000, compared to $299,000 in 2016, well before the pandemic hit, a 7.7% decline.
Compared to physicians nationally, Maryland physicians are toward the bottom of the income scale, the survey indicates. For example, Maryland pediatricians reported average annual compensation of $165,000, compared to a national starting salary in the specialty of $236,000.Orthopedic surgeons in the state reported an average annual salary of $394,000, compared to a national starting salary of $546,000.
Despite this, the majority of Maryland physicians (52.3%) described their income as somewhat or extremely reasonable given their effort and expertise, compared to 33.8% who described their income as somewhat to extremely unreasonable.