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Press Release – AMWA’s Formal Response to the Pay Gap

Press Release – AMWA’s Formal Response to the Pay Gap

The authors analyzed data from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York at Albany based on surveys of 8,233 graduating resident physicians in New York State between the years 1999-2008. Using starting salaries only for physicians who would work primarily in “patient care and clinical practice” and who had accepted an actual job, they controlled for most of the usual confounding variables that have made previous studies less powerful. With regression analysis, they studied 45 specialties within medicine, controlling for hours worked, practice location, immigration status, and age, among other variables. Experience, rank, and productivity were not confounding factors as all subjects had just finished their training. The results of the study showed that a significant gap existed every year and increased over time. These results persisted even after controlling for practice type and specialty, and tailoring of hours for family responsibilities (with the exception of two specialties in which women earned more than their male counterparts, general surgery and gastroenterology).

Although the authors postulated that this gap was due to women choosing more flexible physician practices, we know from prior studies that women physicians often do get paid less than their male counterparts for the same job. Gender discrimination still exists within the eschelons of medicine, and gender stereotyping frequently leads to the devaluation of women physicians. To this end, AMWA’s work is far from over. We will continue to educate and mentor women physicians, providing them with the support and skills to counteract gender bias, negotiate effectively, recognize sexism, and ultimately, to eliminate gender inequality.

To read the original article, please visit

For more information or to join AMWA’s Gender Equity Task Force, please visit:

The American Medical Women’s Association is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and through building strategic alliances.


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