A recent Dallas Medical Journal Article revealed glaring biases in perceptions of the gender pay gap in medicine which sparked a social media flurry and harsh rebuttal from women physician groups nationwide.
In the journal’s Big and Bright Ideas Column, eight physicians were asked about the gender pay gap in medicine. The published remarks of Gary Tigges, MD, though since retracted, underscore the pervading ignorance still within medicine on this topic. His comment, “Female physicians do not work as hard,” is a case in point.
In fact, the medical literature shows that when controlling for confounding variables like age, specialty choice, leadership roles, location and hours worked, a significant and growing gender pay disparity still exists. This is a problem that must be addressed within institutions and administrative leadership. Recently a woman, just out of residency, was offered a position at an Ivy League academic medical center. Then her male, medical school classmate showed her his offer letter for the same position — at a salary that was $60,000 more than her offer. She went elsewhere.
This is not only bad for women physicians, this is bad for health care. Recent studies have reported that patients of women physicians may actually have better outcomes, with lower 30 day readmissions, less morbidity and mortality, and improved surgical outcome, compared to patients of their male colleagues.
AMWA remains committed to changing the gender pay gap within medicine. Join the Gender Equity Task Force which meets via teleconference the last Friday every month at 5 PM Eastern Time (contact: GETF@amwa-doc.org) to work together with us on how to achieve this.
We are also engaging with companies like Equity Quotient, co-founded by physician leaders Dr. Esther Choo and Dr. Jane van Dis to highlight tools that are now available to help healthcare systems implement this change.
- A doctor said the gender pay gap is fair because women in medicine ‘don’t work as hard.’ He apologized.