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September 23, 2020

Are female doctors paid less? See the gap, in 6 charts.

Daily Briefing

    Overall, female physicians' compensation is 32% less than their male counterparts' compensation, according to Medscape's Female Physician Compensation Report released Friday.

    Advisory Board's take on the gender pay gap

    Report details

    The new report is based on data collected for Medscape's 2020 Physician Compensation Report, which Medscape released earlier this year. For the Physician Compensation Report, Medscape surveyed 17,461 physicians across more than 30 specialties from Oct. 4, 2019, to Feb. 10, 2020. Medscape then weighted physicians' responses based on the American Medical Association's physician distribution by gender, specialty, and state.

    Medscape's new analysis of the data focuses on gender disparity in physician compensation.

    Key findings

    For the new report, researchers found that female specialists on average earn about 31% less than male specialists—down slightly from the 33% pay gap Medscape found last year. Among primary care physicians, women this year on average earn about 25% less than men, which is about the same gap that Medscape identified last year.

    Among the different specialties surveyed, the researchers found that women make up the largest share of OB/GYNs and pediatricians. By contrast, women make up the lowest share of urology providers.

    On average, the female physicians with the highest annual compensation were those in office-based solo practice, while those with the lowest annual compensation were those in outpatient settings.

    According to the report, the average difference in compensation between men and women was widest among those ages 34 and younger, and the gap got progressively smaller with age.

    The researchers also looked at how the gender pay gap varies by race. The researchers found that, on average, men consistently received greater compensation than women across all racial groups. However, the specific discrepancies in compensation between male and female physicians varied across racial groups. In addition, the researchers found that white women on average receive more compensation than women of any other race.

    Overall, the researchers found that men and women felt differently about the fairness of their respective compensations, with men more likely than women to say they felt fairly compensated (Kane/Koval, Medscape, 9/18).

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