A new study of medical pay in the U.S. shows that female doctors in are paid $20,000 less each year than their male colleagues, even when age, experience and specialty are factored in. On average, female doctors even earn $50,000 less than men, according the study, which looked at publicly available salary information for some 10,000 academic doctors. “Although we were not surprised by the findings of our study, they are nonetheless deeply concerning,” said Anupam B. Jena, from Harvard Medical School, who co-authored the study. “The fact that men and women in academic medicine who perform similar work are paid different amounts not only has implications for equity but for efficiency; i.e., how can we expect to continue to attract the most talented women into the field if we don’t fix this issue?” he added.
The researchers found that, on average, women would be younger, were less likely to be full professors and have less scientific publications than men. Nevertheless, with those factors calculated in, the gender gap persisted — and was most noticeable at the top of the ladder: typically, a female full professor would earn about as much as a male associate professor. While the study does not delve into the possible reasons behind the pay gap, Jena says there are likely several contributing factors, including men being more likely to negotiate higher pay, as well as overt discrimination. Diana Lautenberger, director of women in medicine and science at the Association of American Medical Colleges said she was not surprised by the results of the study, but pointed out that the figures of this study indicate that a woman could be missing out on some $1 million by the time she retires. “Institutions are paying more attention to this issue and we have become sophisticated enough with the data to challenge commonly cited reasons for the persistent salary gap — that women enter lower paying specialties or they work less hours, to name a few — but we can see from these numbers that men out-earn women in all fields,” Lautenberger said.
Read the full story at The Guardian.