In the clearest sign yet that the gender pay gap is still alive and thriving, a new study concludes that female doctors make much less than their male counterparts. And the salary gap keeps getting worse.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
Newly-trained women doctors are being paid significantly lower salaries –about $17,000 less — than their male counterparts, found a new study published in the February issue of Health Affairs. The pay disparity exists even after the researchers accounted for factors such as medical specialty, hours worked and practice type. Women had lower starting salaries than men in nearly all specialties, the researchers found.
The gap has been growing steadily in recent decades, to $16,819 in 2008, from just $3,600 in 1999. The pay disparity exists even as women now comprise nearly half of all U.S. medical students.
In 1999, new women doctors earned $151,600, on average, compared to $173,400 for men – a 12.5% salary difference. In 2008, that salary difference widened by nearly 17%, with women starting out at $174,000, compared to $209,300 for men. (These are average salary figures, across all specialties.)
Some are claiming that the women are taking less pay in exchange for working more flexible hours or not having to work outside of certain time periods, but the data doesn’t exist to support the assertion. And once you get into higher specialized areas, where hours tend to be more preset and regular, the gap is getting even bigger.
Despite entering higher-paying specialties, the widening pay gap persisted, the researchers found. For instance, female heart surgeons earned $27,103 less, on average, than men, while females specializing in pulmonary disease earned an average $44,320 less than men.
Are women really negotiating less aggressively than their male counterparts, or is discrimination getting even worse in the medical profession?