Female Doctors Face Growing Gender Gap, Paid 25 Percent Less Than Men

Patrick Frye - Author

Sep. 4 2013, Updated 6:23 a.m. ET

Female doctors are paid 25 percent less than men according to a new gender gap study. But the study also show the gender gap for female doctors is actually growing over time, not reducing as you might expect.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, female doctors make about $300,000 less than men over the lifetime of their careers.

In America, gender inequality is still noticeable because of an obvious difference in pay. But various studies claim much of the gender salary gap is caused by women being much more likely to enter lower-paying career fields. When these researchers compared men and women making the same career choices, they still find that a seven percent pay gender gap persists. They believe the evidence suggests women approach salary negotiations differently from men.

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But the gender gap for female doctors is startlingly higher than the average seven percent. In the 1980s the gender gap between male and female doctors was $33,840, or 20 percent. But in the last 10 years the gender gap for female doctors has grown to $56,019 per year, or 25.3 percent. This trend apparently affects female dentists and physician assistants.

The study notes the difference might be explained by the choice of specialization. Female doctors account for more than half of all of America’s pediatricians, but number less than 10 percent of orthopedic surgeons. But the authors question whether the gender gap is the choice of female doctors:

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“[S]peciality and practice choice may be due not only to preferences of female physicians but also unequal opportunities. For example, are unadjusted earnings differences between male and female physicians due to a preference of female physicians for lower-paying specialties (eg, pediatrics or primary care), or do female physicians have less opportunity to enter higher paying specialties despite having similar preferences as male physicians?”

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Slate points out America is suffering from a lack of specialist doctors. So they suggest creating an incentive structure to lure more female doctors into those type of medical jobs.

Do you think the choices of female doctors explains the gender gap or is there a medical glass ceiling?


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