Compensation Issues

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70% of physician assistants are women, yet gender pay gap still persists

A new study from the American Academy of Physician Assistants has found that for every dollar a male PA earns, his female counterpart earns 89 cents.

This pay disparity exists even though physician assistants represent one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare and 70 percent of physician assistants are women. The study examined data on pay from 1998 to 2014.

"As a PA educator, I feel keenly the burden of student debt. One way to think about the impact of the gender pay gap is in the context of the $150,000 in student loans facing a typical PA upon graduation," said L Gail Curtis, president and chair of the AAPA Board of Directors. "A male PA earning $10,000 a year more than his female PA counterpart could use that extra money to pay off his student loan debt in 15 years. The disparate treatment of women in the PA profession is simply unacceptable."

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