The second annual study by Doximity showed that physician pay grew 4 percent year-over-year, which was higher than the 2.6 percent national wage increase. Although strikingly, the gender gap in pay continued.
When Doximity learned that women doctors were earning an average of 26.5% less than men, the pay gap had increased from the previous year. And the researchers found that in all 40 medical specialties and 50 metropolitan areas it studied, the inequities existed.
The medical profession does not publicly expose or negotiate compensation, unlike other sectors. It will give them better leverage to negotiate their salaries if doctors know how much their colleagues are earning.
According to the survey, hematology, occupational medicine, and urology were specialties with the highest pay disparities of about 20 percent. Female doctors also paid 15 percent less than male doctors in the places with the smallest pay difference, such as in pediatric cardiology and geriatrics.
Health professionals earn a lot more than many other careers, even with the pay difference. But physicians still spend several years in college and, by the time they begin practicing, incur considerable school debt.
It is not all about having extra money to close this pay gap. In medicine, it is about overcoming an implicit bias that exists. Some individuals have said that female doctors do not see as many patients as male doctors because with children they have other commitments at home. This is why they’re making less. The belief, decades later, is that [male doctors] can do more because they take care of the home.
Profits, not assumptions, should be based on experience and credentials. It is the same for all genders, as far as medical training goes. Medical students are not taught how wages can be negotiated. But learning this skill is vital for them, particularly for women.
If the pay gap continues to grow, it could lead to more female physicians leaving the profession with less pay along with physician burnout. Women have been shown to leave medicine for the pharmaceutical industry, business, and other sectors where they believe that they are better valued and paid.