No One Is Immune to the Gender Pay Gap, Not Even Doctors

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A new report produces this puzzling finding: The wage gap between highly trained women and their male peers in the medical profession is even bigger than the national average.

The gender pay gap is alive and well in the United States.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, there is a gender wage gap of 21 percent in the United States, meaning that women earn 79 cents for every $1 that men in the same job earn.

It seems no occupation is immune — even doctors. In fact, the pay gap is even worse for female physicians. According to a recent physician compensation report from medical information site Medscape, female doctors earn 24 percent less than their male peers. Overall, about 30 percent of doctors in the United States are women, the report said.

Medscape, which collected data from roughly 20,000 physicians in 26 different specialties, found that although women’s earnings increased more between 2012 and 2016 than men’s, female doctors still earn considerably less than their male counterparts.

For example, according to Medscape’s 2016 report, male primary care physicians earn an average of $225,000 a year compared with $192,000 for women. Male specialists earn an average of $324,000 to female specialists’ $242,000.

Not surprisingly, female physicians’ net worth is also much lower than that of their male counterparts. While half (49 percent) of male doctors report a net worth of $1 million or more, just one-third of female doctors can say the same, according to Medscape’s physician debt and net worth report.

“The persistence of these disparities is puzzling because we see no contractual bias from our clients against female candidates,” said Travis Singleton, senior vice president of Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a health care jobs placement service.

Women tend to work in medical specialties that aren’t as lucrative, according to Medscape. Still, there’s a significant wage gap even within specialty medical positions.

For example, male ophthalmologists are paid a whopping 36 percent more than women in that specialty, CNN Money reports, citing Doximity, a networking service for doctors. Anesthesiologists, radiologists and family practitioners have the smallest gender wage gap, the report said.

Check out “The Gender Pay Gap Is More Complex Than You Think.”

What do you think about the gender pay gap? Have you experienced it firsthand? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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