Women doctors working at public medical schools in the United States earn almost $20,000 less per year than their male counterparts, a study suggests.
The findings were published Monday in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and were compiled using data from more than 10,000 physicians, a third of whom were women, at 24 public medical schools in 12 states.
"Our use of publicly available state employee salary data highlights the importance of physician salary transparency to efforts to reduce the male-female earnings gap," said the study, which was led by Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School.
The study found that without accounting for “other mitigating factors,” women doctors at public medical schools made $206,641, compared to $257,957 for men, a difference of more than $50,000.
According to a news release on the study, the women were “less likely than men to be full professors” and tended to be younger and focused on internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. They also were less likely to publish, get funding from the National Institutes of Health and less likely to have led a clinical trial.
When accounting for these factors, women still earned just under $20,000 than their male peers, researchers said.
The study found that for those doctors with surgical specialties, the gap was wider.
The researchers caution that the study did have some limitations, including “a lack of information on faculty track or part-time status” and possible state-by-state discrepancies in reporting income.