Gender pay differences for doctors: Why women make less

Why women make less
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Setting out to access why men physicians make more than women, according to statistics, a joint-research team has published Thursday the results of their study, based on an analysis of data for 776 male and female physicians.

“In addition to implicit bias and differences in negotiations and social networks, women’s tendency to prioritize substantial pay less than men may account for some of the gender pay inequities that exist in our society. However, substantial pay is different from equal pay. I bet most women still want fair pay,” said Dr. A. Charlotta Weaver, lead author of the Journal of Hospital Medicine study.

Recent studies have determined that American female physicians make $50,000 less per year than male physicians — an average $165,278 compared with $221,297.

The new research, however, found that after accounting for age, geography, specialty, amount and type of work, women made around $15,000 less than men in the field.

The breakdown of the reasons women make less than men goes like this, according to the study: working women are younger, less likely to be leaders, and more often work part-time.

Women physicians more frequently prioritize other work interests over financial compensation, the researchers found. Women considered pay the fourth most important priority, while men ranked it the second. Both ranked optimal work load first.

Women more frequently were employed as pediatricians and staff in university settings.

It was also found that women work more nights, report fewer daily billable encounters than their male peers, and are more often divorced than male physicians.

“The gender earnings gap persists among hospitalists,” concluded the researchers. “A portion of the disparity is explained by the fewer women hospitalists compared to men who prioritize pay.”

By Cheryl Bretton