ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Male doctors make more money than their female counterparts, even when factoring in medical specialty, title, work hours, productivity and a host of other factors, according to a comprehensive new analysis from researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and Duke University.
Results of the study appear in the June 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“The gender pay disparity we found in this highly talented and select group of physicians was sobering," said lead study author Reshma Jagsi, MD, D.Phil., associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
The researchers surveyed 800 physicians who had received a highly competitive early career research grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2000-2003. By focusing on these grants, the researchers narrowed the pool to an extremely select, highly motivated, highly talented group of physicians who are involved in academic medicine. The physicians were surveyed about a decade after receiving these grants, putting them now mid-career.
“People point to a lot of possible reasons for pay disparities, so we examined a population in which you would be least likely to pick up gender differences in salary. After we adjusted for a host of factors that could explain pay differences, we unmasked a pay disparity of $12,001 a year, or more than $350,000 over a career," Jagsi said.
The survey included 39 questions covering age, medical specialty, marital status, work hours, time spent in research, number of peer-reviewed publications, location, race, additional grants, leadership roles and other degrees.