HealthDay News –  Factors including differences in negotiating skills and specialty choice may be contributing to the gender wage disparity among physicians in the U.S., according to a report published in Medical Economics.

While noting that male physicians take home $12,000 more per year, within the same specialty and after adjustment for working hours and seniority, the authors provide suggestions to address this disparity.

According to the report, there are several factors that may cause women to earn less than their male counterparts. Female physicians can become better negotiators, asking for promotions or for more money. Some women physicians may have a relative lack of confidence compared with their male peers, underestimating personal value and ability. Women physicians should consider not ruling out higher-paying specialties or private practice due to the involved time commitments.


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Male physicians tend to see more patients and provide more services per patient; women can increase their billable hours and their services-to-patient ratios by finding ways to balance patient care and income. Finally, women should lobby for more transparency in income data and engage in peer networking, which could reduce the pay gap.

“Women — in medicine as in other fields — leave money on the table for a variety of reasons, often as they attempt to prioritize home and family, and make compatible career choices,” according to the article. 

Reference

Coyne, K. Are female physicians leaving money on the (operating room) table? Medical Economics. Published March 21, 2016. Accessed March 28, 2016.  Source Code.