Study: Female Physicians Earn $2m Less Over Career December 7, 2021

Written by MSDC Staff

A widely publicized study gives further credence to the wage gap in medicine. The journal HealthAffairs published a study in their December edition that tracked the annual income of over 80,000 physicians. Across different specialties, the results show there is a 24.6% difference on the 40-year earnings between male and female physicians.

See abstract here.

The study is believed to be the largest study on physician pay and the first to specifically look at the gender pay gap. The study was led by Christopher Whaley, PhD, of the RAND Corporation. 

The study involved 80,342 full-time U.S. physicians submitting data via Doximity on their estimated career earnings. The survey ran between 2014 and 2019, so it did not reflect COVID pandemic changes. Using that information, the researchers simulated the forty-year careers of male and female physicians. They found the average male physicians would earn an average adjusted gross income of $8,307,327 compared to a female physician who would earn $6,263,446. The study also found the biggest gaps between genders was for surgical specialists ($2.5m difference over 40 years) and non-surgical specialists ($1.6m difference). The survey did not include nonbinary physicians.