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Women Physicians: Lower Pay for Better Outcomes?

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine (Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians) found that female physicians had significantly lower mortality and readmission rates than male physicians, and yet pay for female physicians continues to lag behind pay for male physicians. Women physicians make on average $51,315 less than male physicians; even when adjusting for factors that can determine compensation—such as “age, experience, specialty, faculty rank, and measures of research productivity and clinical revenue”, the gap is nearly $20,000 per year (Sex Differences in Physician Salary in US Public Medical Schools, JAMA Internal Medicine, Sept. 2016). In addition, women are promoted far less often than men in academic medicine (Sex Differences in Academic Rank in US Medical Schools in 2014, JAMA Internal Medicine, Sept. 2015).

 

Why does such gender discrimination persist in medicine and what can be done to remedy the situation? We invite you to join our panel of experts for a lively discussion on this and related topics.