Gender pay gap persists for physicians across ages, family types, study finds

Female physicians earn less than their male counterparts for all ages and family types, according to a study published March 24 in JAMA Health Forum.

The study — led by Hanover, N.H.-based Dartmouth College — specifically found that female physicians earn between 21 percent and 24 percent less than their male counterparts. Researchers did not find a strong association between the gaps in earnings per hour and family structure. 

However, researchers did find that marriage and children were associated with an additional earnings penalty for female physicians, which they largely attributed to fewer hours worked relative to male physicians. 

Overall, female physicians with children earn on average $3 million less than male physicians with children over a 40-year career, according to the study.

"It is important for employers to address the sex-based earnings gaps in their institutions, acknowledge the role of structural sexism and gender norms in the medical system, and consider initiatives to support both female and male physicians in childcare tasks," lead author and Geisel School of Medicine student Lucy Skinner said in a statement shared with Becker's. "For example, expanding daycare access on site and ensuring sufficient and equal maternity and paternity leave would help support physicians who chose to have children to pursue their desired work schedules and reduce the burden of childrearing that disproportionately falls on women."

The cross-sectional study of 95,435 U.S. physicians is based on data from the American Community Survey between 2005 and 2019. The study did have limitations, including that the American Community Survey excludes physician specialty or detailed practice information.

To learn more about the survey, click here

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars