Female Doctors Get Paid Way Less Than Male Doctors Do

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Photo: Bruce Ayres

A new study released on Monday and published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that female doctors at some of the U.S.’s most prominent public medical schools make on average $20,000 less a year than their male counterparts. Think about that!

While former studies assessed pay in medical fields from doctors reporting their own income, this study looked at data from about 10,000 physicians at 24 public medical schools and accounted for factors that could affect pay such as the number of publications a doctor had written. From the Times:

The average pay gap between female and male orthopedic surgeons was nearly $41,000. The difference was about $38,000 among oncologists and blood specialists, about $36,000 among obstetrician-gynecologists and $34,000 among cardiologists.

Radiology was the only specialty in which women were paid more. Their adjusted average salary exceeded that of male radiologists by roughly $2,000.

Dr. Anupam B. Jena, the lead author on the study and an associate professor of health-care policy at Harvard Medical School, told the Times that the worst-case scenario for such a large pay gap at public medical schools was “clear discrimination by department chairs in salary settings,” but the research also found that at some schools, there was no pay gap at all, which could mean that some universities monitor this problem more aggressively than others. Who’s got next?