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Women Doctors Make Much Less Than Men Doctors

Women Doctors Make Much Less Than Men Doctors

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?

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81 comments

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9:20PM PST on Feb 13, 2011

This unfair wage crap just irritates me! When will we be equal?

3:09AM PST on Feb 13, 2011

Of course there's discrimination in the medical field. I work as a home care aid. A male relative does the same job at the same agency. I started in 2003, he started in 2005. There was a wage freeze from 2008 to present. He makes more money than I do, by over a dollar an hour, even though when he started, he started at the new hire rate and I was already ahead of that... Yet he got more raises in 3 years to be way ahead of me than what I got in 5. A male nurse walking onto a job makes more than a 20 year female veteran. But after med school, you need a job, so, it's take it or don't work to pay back your student loans. I guess having a penis makes one more qualified...

11:41PM PST on Feb 10, 2011

It doesn't surprise me. And since being a doctor is "a man's world", of course they will pay men more.

8:37AM PST on Feb 10, 2011

Glad to live in Portugal, where there aren't such differences in the medical field, but there are still such differences in other fields...

9:18PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Women are just as responsible to blame for this problem, as men.
They have a choice; and if they think they don't, they are listening to the wrong people.

If someone, refuses to allow (OMG) you to make a choice, your choice in the wrong partner, has already happened.

When women decide that they have no choice, they are already doomed, by their own choice.
Hey, ladies, get therapy.

9:05PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Please, we will not pretend to be shocked!
The old white boys network, has been FORCED to accept blacks and women, much to their chagrin (annoyance).

Should we pretend that we are unaware that this is happening or are we intent on correcting the inequity of this situation?

It is imperative that we remember one thing. Intelligent men and intelligent women will can remedy this situation.
We women, can and should find a medical female to take care of our needs.
It is not that arduous.

Only you can decide!

11:40PM PST on Feb 7, 2011

I don't understand how this works, do they actually hire a man and woman for the same job and then pay the man more for the same job at the same company? so like at mcdonalds, a man will get paid 7 an hour and a woman 6 and hour? that's ridiculous and needs to be illegal. You know how many women have to take care of their kids alone. Many men bail out. So why should they make more than mothers trying to support their fatherless kids, I mean that's so mean and cruel. Everyone knows about single mothers. Why hurt the woman? doesn't make sense.

8:11PM PST on Feb 7, 2011

Specialists are NEVER paid on a fixed pay. I hire doctors (many per year). Female and Male doctors are paid the same rate per patient or procedure. Male doctors tend to see more patients in the same 8 hour period and tend to be more willing to do procedures during that same 8 hour period; both issues raise that male doctor's pay.

4:19PM PST on Feb 7, 2011

Women historically made less income, because the men were the ones supporting a family, while a working woman was (at first) usually a single woman supporting only herslef, or a married woman making extra money 'on the side' as her husband was already supporting the family.
Of course now a days many women are supporting their families because their deadbeat husbands don't work, or have left them and the kids...and she is not the '2nd' income but the only one. OR in some case she is the '2nd' income in a dual income yuppie type household, where they think they need 2 full incomes to get by with their McMansions and 2 new cars and their 1.8 kids in day care full time.
So now a woman's income should be the same as a man's but the reason it started on the uneven footing is because women were originally the full-time-mothers and the father's paid the bills.

11:26AM PST on Feb 7, 2011

Both men and women who are doctors save lives. They should be paid equally

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