Gender Gap In Doctors’ Pay Persists

According to a Stanford University researcher, young male doctors are more likely to be trained in higher-paying specialties, work longer hours, and are subsequently paid more. In the under 45 age category, male doctors made an average of $155,000 a year in 1990 while female doctors earned $110,000 a year, according to a national survey of physician incomes. The discrepancy in pay has decreased since the early 1980s and is almost non-existent among male and female doctors with similar training and hours. In 1986, males earned 46 percent more than their female counterparts according to Laurence Baker, an economist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

In 1990, male doctors earned an average of $56 an hour while women earned $49, a discrepancy due in part to the fact that more men have higher-paying specialties and are more likely to own their own private practices. Baker noted that women’s disproportionate share of child-rearing responsibilities discouraged them from fields that require longer hours and further specialty training. The study showed that women earn 13 percent more than their male counterparts in general practice and family medicine but earn 25 percent less in internal subspecialties, even after adjustment for training and hour differences. In academia, women comprise only 24 percent of medical school faculty members and 4 percent of department chairs, according to Dr. Ruth Kirschenstein of the National Institutes of Health.


he Nando Net and the New York Times - April 11, 1996

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