Gender And Race Wage Gaps Among Doctors Are “Egregious,” Study Shows

April 10, 2017  |  

Wage Gaps

You’ve gone to medical school. Passed all your exams. Worked hard as a resident. Naturally, you expect to pull in the same salary as your fellow doctors when you go into practice, but if you’re a woman or Black, chances are that’s not going to happen.

“Doctors earn six-figure salaries, but gender and race wage gaps within the profession are egregious, about twice the national average in some instances,” reported The Dallas News. According to Medscape LLC’s recently published annual Physician Compensation Report, the wage gap among specialist physicians increased by 4 percent within the last year at 37 percent. Women take home an average of $251,000 annually compared to male specialist physicians who earn $345,000. The gap gets larger when you add race into the equation. Black women doctors make just 69¢ for every dollar a white male doctor earns. Nationally, women on average take home 83¢ on every dollar earned by men.

One of the reasons for the gap, the study found, is that women doctors are lacking in specialist fields.

“Women make up 18 percent of orthopedists under 35, but only 9 percent of the specialty overall is women. Orthopedists are the highest-paid specialists, with average earnings of $489,000 annually. Urology, the fourth-highest-paid specialty at an average of $400,000 a year, shows a similar trend. Sixteen percent of urologists under 35 are women, compared with 10 percent across the field,” reported The Dallas News.

Meanwhile, Black male doctors earn an average of $303,000 annually, compared to the $229,000 earned by Black female doctors.

“There are tons of factors here,” said Leslie Kane, senior director of Medscape Business of Medicine, including the fact that women are more likely to work part-time than men and older male doctors tend to run their own practices. “Self-employed physicians earn much more — it’s the older group that tend to have more self-employed people, and [it’s] much more male.”

(This is the first year Medscape has analyzed wage data by race.)

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