Male Docs Earn Higher Patient Ratings

On average, male providers received higher star ratings in online reviews than their female contemporaries, according to a new report.

The newly released findings of the 2020 Patient Sentiment Report—published by Healthgrades and the Medical Group Management Association—offer insight into how patients perceive their care, and their providers, and it seems as though male providers and the care they provide are, on average, seen in a more favorable light.

The report, which analyzed the more than 8.4 million star ratings completed by patients on Healthgrades as of December 1, 2019, found that patients more commonly rate male doctors higher than female doctors, giving them an average star rating of 4.3—.2 stars more than the 4.1 earned by female providers. It was also found that when reviewing male doctors, patients were more likely to mention skill and quality of care, as well as the office staff, than they did in reviews of female doctors.

Female physicians received high marks of their own, though. When evaluating female providers, patients positively mentioned themes of bedside manner, communication, wait times, and visit times more than they did for male physicians.

There appears, however, to be one area physicians of all genders are equal. The report also found that both male and female physicians have a negative average rating when it comes to wait times.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Gender Pay Gap Tops $36K for New Physicians

A new study has found that male physicians earn more than their female counterparts, even at the onset of their career.

A new study, which was released ahead of print by Health Affairs, shows a growing disparity in pay between new male and female physicians.

For the study, researchers collected data between 1999 and 2017 from graduating residents from the New York Survey of Residents Completing Training from the Center for Health Workforce Studies of the University of Albany, State University. Using that data, the researchers found that, over that time period, the average starting compensation for men was $235,044 and $198,426 for women, a difference of more than $36,000. They also discovered that the gap widened over time, increasing from $7,700 in 1999.

While part of the pay gap could be explained due to analyzed variables—chosen specialty (40-55%), number of job offers (2-9%), hours worked (up to 7%), and work-life balance preferences (less than 1%)—researchers could not entirely explain the disparity.

“While it is apparent that women say they place a greater premium on control over work-life balance factors, this difference does not appear to explain the observed starting salary difference, conditional on other factors,” the researchers wrote. “There may nevertheless exist workplace biases, whether intentional or unintentional, that differentially affect women irrespective of their individual stated preferences for work-life balance.”

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

How to Handle Gender Bias at Your Medical Practice

If you want to build a better culture within your practice in 2020, these strategies can help you create a more inclusive workplace for your staff.

By Brooke Chaplan

Gender bias is not a simple topic. If you run a medical practice, you are probably already aware that cultural standards can have a negative impact on the way that your business is run. These strategies may help you create and maintain a more balanced workplace for your staff.

Implement Fair Hiring and Promotion Practices

The hiring process is the first and most obvious place where gender discrimination can occur. Although it is illegal to hire based on gender, unconscious bias can still influence employment decisions—especially if you run a large practice.

Take steps to hire based on accomplishments and qualifications first. Try reviewing resumes without the names attached so that you can objectively judge based on experience. During the actual interview process, bring in multiple members of the leadership team so that you can get a better understanding of how a candidate might fit in with your operation.

Create a Culture That Respects Degrees

Unconscious gender bias is an unfortunate reality in the medical industry. Although male and female doctors are equal in number, there is a tendency for parties of both genders to treat female physicians differently. They may be asked to do additional tasks for the practice, like planning meetings or after-work events, or they may simply be peppered with questions that interrupt their workday.

This problem is deeply rooted in culture and may not be easy to solve. In your individual practice, consider creating a standard of providing equal respect to people who have the same list of accomplishments. Physicians should not be in charge of cleaning up the office or hiring new staff members. Nurses have their own job duties and do not have time to fetch coffee or meeting notes. Delegate non-medical roles to members of your practice who have been hired to fill those positions.

Invest in Human Resources

As the leader of a medical practice, you can’t be expected to understand the full nuances of gender discrimination. Similarly, you can’t always watch for the ways that gender discrimination occurs both consciously and unconsciously.

A simple solution is to make sure that your human resources department is receiving an appropriate amount of funding. Whether you have an internal department or make use of an external company, take advantage of this valuable addition to your team.

Provide Legal Support

When gender discrimination does occur, you need to make sure that your practice is prepared to handle the situation. Look for a firm that provides gender discrimination law services and has experience working with the medical industry.

Although you may not need to keep your gender discrimination lawyer on retainer, it pays to have a good relationship with a firm that you know you can trust. Your lawyer may be able to answer specific questions and help you run your practice in a way that meets current legal recommendations.

Gender bias is slowly fading from society. As the owner or manager of a medical practice, you have a unique opportunity to create a positive and bias-free environment for the newest members of the field. Remain sensitive to gender issues, and remember that the effects of bias get in the way of the most important work: taking care of the patients.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.