A new report finds that gender-based pay disparities are still pervasive among doctors, and in fact may be getting worse. The survey, conducted by Doximity, found that doctors overall saw an average 4 percent wage increase from 2016 to 2017, but that female doctors earned significantly less than their male counterparts. On average, women made 27.7 percent less, which translates to approximately $105,000 annually.
Refuting any hopeful speculation that such system flaws are improving, the study found the wage gap actually widened from the prior year, when women made 26.5 percent less, or $91,284.
Although the divide varied by specialty, the survey didn’t identify a single healthcare field in which women doctors were paid equitably or earned more than their male colleagues.
“What is really sad is that it was not surprising to see the big pay gap,” Fatima Stanford, a Harvard Medical School instructor, told Bloomberg. ”I think in 10 years we’ll be having a similar conversation unless there’s some major change.”
The specialties with the largest wage gaps are: hematology, occupational medicine, urology, orthopedic surgery, and gastroenterology. The survey also found that neurosurgery delivers the highest annual salary, and four of the five lowest earning specialties are in the field of pediatrics.
“Considering the increasing concern about potential doctor shortages, having a clear understanding of physician compensation is more relevant than ever,” Doximity co-found Nate Gross, MD, said in a release.
The Bloomberg article noted one additional gender-based difference in 2017: the Association of American Medical Colleges report that more women than men enrolled in U.S. medical schools last year, a historic first.