Gap in earnings persists between male and female physicians, research letter suggests

A gap in earnings between male and female U.S. physicians has persisted over the last 20 years, according to a research letter by Seth A. Seabury, Ph.D., of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and colleagues.

Using nationally representative data from the March Current Population Survey (CPS) from 1987 to 2010, the researchers estimated trends in the male-female earnings gap among physicians, other , and workers overall. The sample included 1,334,894 individuals, including 6,258 physicians and 31,857 other , and the percentage of physicians surveyed who were female increased from 10.3 percent in 1987-1990 to 28.4 percent in 2006-2010. Three periods were analyzed (1987-1990, 1996-2000, and 2006-2010) and adjusted for hours worked to avoid overstating in earnings if female physicians work fewer hours.

According to the study results, there was no statistically significant improvement over time in the earnings of female physicians relative to male physicians. Overall, the decreased considerably outside of the health care industry but inconsistently within it.

"While it is important to study gender differences in earnings after accounting for factors such as specialty choice and practice type, it is equally important to understand overall unadjusted gender differences in earnings. This is because specialty and practice choices may be due to not only preferences of female physicians but also unequal opportunities," the study concludes.

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 2, 2013. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.8519

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gender pay gap persists through the ages

Apr 12, 2013

A new study examining gender disparities in the Australian labour market has found female graduates earn less than their male counterparts - and the gender pay gap widens dramatically the older women are ...

What does the feminization of family medicine mean?

Sep 24, 2012

With more women in family medicine in Canada, what does this mean for the specialty and the profession, for patients and for society, asks a Salon opinion piece in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments