A new study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association has something shocking to tell us: women doctors are paid, on average, $56,019 less than male doctors. And that’s even more of a disparity than it was in 1980, over thirty years ago. Is the medical field getting even more discriminatory of the basis of sex? It would appear so.
Female pharmacists and those working in health insurance are catching up to men when it comes to income, but for dentists and doctors, it isn’t looking that way. When I first read about this study, I thought, “Okay, but what about other factors that could be influencing the data? Are women really paid that much less?” Turns out the authors of the study, Amitbh Chandra, Anupam Jena, and Seth Seabury accounted for those factors, including work hours and levels of experience in comparing numbers. Still the same disparity!
One interesting factor they couldn’t quite get to the bottom of is the fact that women doctors tend to have jobs in specialties like pediatrics and primary care, fields that pay comparatively little, while males hold most of the jobs in surgery and radiology, the highest-earning medical fields. The question on the minds of the authors is whether women tend to prefer the lower paying specialties or whether they are discriminated against in high-income jobs like orthopedic surgery.
However we view and analyze these findings, the gendered income disparity exists in healthcare, and that’s just not okay.
Thanks to The Washington Post
Image via The Guardian/Getty Images