Compensation Issues

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Female pediatricians earn at least $8K less than male counterparts each year

The gender wage gap exists even in female-heavy specialties like pediatrics. Female pediatricians earn at least $8,000 less than male pediatricians per year, even after accounting for a range of factors like work hours, practice ownership and labor-force, physician-specific jobs, and work-family characteristics, according to research published by Pediatrics.

Researchers used 2016 data from the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study, which includes data on early- and mid-career pediatricians. They found female pediatricians are making about $51,000 less than male pediatricians at face value. However, due to the complexities of compensation, they broke down this finding by various levels of adjustment.

First, researchers adjusted for common labor-force characteristics, such as years since residency graduation, race and ethnicity, hours worked per week, and specialty. After adjusting for these factors, women earned an estimated $26,566 less than men. Then researchers adjusted for labor-force and physician-specific job characteristics, which included number of patients per week, academic setting and practice ownership. With both of these adjustments, women earned about $14,240 less. Finally, the researchers ran a model with a third set of criteria, work-family characteristics, which added factors like marital and parental status into the mix. With all three sets of characteristics included, women earned about $7,997 less per year.

This study suggests the gender wage gap persists in pediatrics, even when accounting for a variety of factors that may affect compensation.

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