Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Pay gap growing for women MDs
from the Associated Press:
Starting salaries for women who become physicians are significantly lower than men's, and the pay gap has grown over the past decade, a study reports.
The pay differential, which was 12.5 percent in 1999, increased to nearly 17 percent by 2008, according to the report, published Thursday in Health Affairs.
The growing gap could not be explained by women's preferences, the authors said. While women on average do choose lower-paying specialties and shorter workweeks than men, those disparities were less pronounced in 2008 than in 1999. Yet the pay differential has widened.
"That was the part that surprised and puzzled us," said one author, Anthony T. Lo Sasso, a professor of health policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "As you start moving forward in time closer to the present day, your ability to explain away that difference between men's and women's salaries essentially evaporates."
The research looked at more than 8,000 new physicians in New York State. In 1999, the women earned $151,600 on average, compared with $173,400 for men; by 2008, the figures were $174,000 for women and $209,300 for men. (The study adjusted for inflation.) After accounting for differences in their practices, the study concluded, the pay gap had increased to $16,819 in 2008, from $3,600 in 1999.