Gender Equity

Two female physicians speaking

The Gender Equity Task Force compensation survey is live!

Click here to access the survey and share with your colleagues.

The Medical Society of DC has launched a Gender Equity Task Force to explore areas around equity in medicine in the District. The Task Force's work will include:

  • A compensation survey to determine pay disparities among male and female physicians in DC
  • Webinars and in-person programs on negotiating employment contracts and equitable compensation
  • Published resources to help build gender equity in DC healthcare facilities
  • And more.

See below for some of the Task Force's initial work. Want to get involved or partner with the task force in its work? Contact Pia Duryea.


American Medical Association Resources
American Medical Womens Association Resources
Association of American Medical Colleges Resources
Association of Women Surgeons Resources
Academic Articles

Academic Articles

Westring, A., et al., An Integrated Framework for Gender Equity in Academic Medicine. Acad Med, 2016. 91(8): p. 1041-4. Online Open Access

Bickel, J., Is Gender Equity Possible in Academic Medicine or Are There More Useful Goals on Which to Focus? J Womens Health (Larchmt), 2020. 29(8): p. 1025-1027. Online Open Access

Burden, M., et al., Gender disparities in leadership and scholarly productivity of academic hospitalists. J Hosp Med, 2015. 10(8): p. 481-5. PDF

Caffrey, L., et al., Gender equity programmes in academic medicine: a realist evaluation approach to Athena SWAN processes. BMJ Open, 2016. 6(9): p. e012090. PDF

Isaac, C., B. Lee, and M. Carnes, Interventions that affect gender bias in hiring: a systematic review. Acad Med, 2009. 84(10): p. 1440-6. Free, Full PDF

Chen, S., G.L. Beck Dallaghan, and A. Shaheen, Implicit Gender Bias in Third-Year Surgery Clerkship MSPE Narratives. J Surg Educ, 2020. Online Open Access

Sidhu, A., S. Jalal, and F. Khosa, Prevalence of Gender Disparity in Professional Societies of Family Medicine: A Global Perspective. Cureus, 2020. 12(5): p. e7917. Online Open Access

Acosta, D.A., et al., Achieving Gender Equity Is Our Responsibility: Leadership Matters. Acad Med, 2020. 95(10): p. 1468-1471. Online Open Access

Nationwide Data on Compensation Inequality

Despite the increased number of women physicians, there is a significant gender pay gap in medicine in nationwide surveys. Studies show that women physicians nationwide earn less than men despite controlling for variables such as race, ethnicity, and specialty.

According to a brief coauthored by DC Board of Medicine Chair Dr. Andrea  Anderson, across every racial/ethnic group, male physicians earned more than female physicians. The annual average income was $224,645 and average hourly compensation was $88.06. Regardless of racial/ethnic group, all male respondents earned above the average annual income, and all women respondents earned below average. Women physicians earn less than men whether they are in primary or specialty care, with women in primary care making the least of all physicians.

These disparities amplify and compound over time. A widely publicized study calculated that women physicians make $2 million less than men over their lifetime.

Physician mothers face further unique structural challenges. These include barriers to lactation in the workplace  and the disproportionate childcare burden that they face. A JAMA study found that women physicians “have the added difficulty of trying to find care outside typical hours such as nights and weekends, with only 8 percent of the center-based care providing nonstandard coverage.


Causes of Inequality

Pay transparency is seen as a way to highlight pay disparities and to close the gender gap. A LinkedIn study found that women are more open than men to sharing pay information. The Task Force discussed anecdotal reports of gender inequity for solo providers in reimbursement from payers.

Although pay transparency may facilitate equity, it is certainly not the only factor. Opportunities for advancement and promotion as well as work schedule flexibility, work-life balance, structural workplace policies, and skill development (such as contract negotiation) play an important role in overall compensation and career satisfaction.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted women disproportionately compared to men, largely by shifting caretaking and homecare roles to women. Consequently, existing disparities were amplified with an increase in burnout. This led to an increase in women leaving the physician workforce during the pandemic. It is unclear whether that trend will continue beyond the pandemic and what will be the long-term impact of the pandemic on GE.

Task Force Members

Dr. Monika Masanam (Co-Chair, WIM Co-Chair)
Dr. Klint Peebles (Co-Chair, Advocacy Chair)
Dr. Susanne Bathgate
Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi
Dr. Nada Mallick
Dr. Ashesh Patel
Dr. Dana Shively
Allison Willett