July 9, 2019

Overall, female physicians are paid 25% less than their male counterparts, according to Medscape's Female Physician Compensation Report released last week.

Advisory Board's take on the gender pay gap

Report details

The new report is based off Medscape's 2019 Physician Compensation Report, which Medscape released earlier this year. For the Physician Compensation Report, Medscape surveyed 19,328 practicing physicians across more than 30 specialties between Oct. 25, 2018 and Feb. 14, 2019.

The new analysis focuses on gender disparity in physician pay.

Key findings

In the new analysis, researchers found that female specialists are paid 33% less than male specialists, while female primary care providers are paid 25% less than their male counterparts.

Among the different specialties surveyed, the report found that women make up the largest share of OB/GYNs. By contrast, women make up the lowest share of orthopedic providers. Orthopedics is the highest paid practice area, according to the overall Physician Compensation Report.

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

The analysis shows that the pay difference between men and women was widest among those ages 34 and under, and got progressively smaller with age.

The researchers also looked at how the gender pay gap varies by race. The researchers found that men are consistently paid more across all racial groups. However, the specific discrepancy between male and female physicians varied across racial groups. In addition, the researchers found that white women are paid more than women of any other race.

Overall, the researchers found men and women felt different about the fairness of their compensation. Men were more likely than women to say they felt fairly compensated.

(Martin, Medscape, 7/2).

What the future might hold for physician compensation

Learn about today's most common physician incentive models, the emerging trend toward salary-based compensation design, and potential changes to compensation in the longer-term.

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