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.

Female PAs Still Paid Less than Male PAs

Female PAs earn $.91 to every dollar male PAs earn according to the newly released findings from the AAPA’s annual salary survey.

The results of the annual AAPA Salary Survey have been released, and they offer a stark look at pay disparities between male and female physician assistants.

The survey, which obtained responses from more than 8,000 PAs, found that full-time female PAs were, on average, being paid $13,380 less than their male counterparts, and that they were less likely to receive bonuses than male PAs—a rate of 40% for women and 53.4% for men. Even when taking into account other factors that could be expected to affect compensation, the survey found a 9% difference in pay between female and male PAs—or, to put it bluntly, female PAs earn $.91 to every dollar earned by male PAs.

The AAPA attributes this, in part, to more males entering the 52-year-old PA profession earlier than females, thus giving them more experience and seniority, which the survey found to result in higher compensation. However, the AAPA also notes, “The total compensation discrepancy begins almost immediately upon entering the profession—there is a disparity between male and female PAs in the first years of practicing as PAs. This difference may be exacerbated as PAs progress through their careers, since increases in pay are often based on increasing the previous salary by a certain amount, and new employers often base a PA’s starting pay in part on their previous salary. A compensation disparity that begins on a PA’s first day on the job could have lifelong implications for the PA.”

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.

“Female Physicians Do Not Work as Hard,” Claimed Physician Now Facing Backlash

The statement, which was made in the Women in Medicine issue of the Dallas Medical Journal, has prompted viral levels of backlash across the internet.

Last week, Dr. Gary Tigges, an Internal Medicine physician in Plano, Texas, came under fire for a statement he made about the gender pay gap among physicians in the September edition of the Dallas Medical Journal.

Dr. Tigges’ statement was included as part of a two-page Big and Bright Ideas feature in the journal’s Women in Medicine issue, which asked physicians if they believe a pay gap exists between male and female physicians, and if so, what the cause may be, as well as what steps physicians can take to address this.

Dr. Tigges’ response read, “Yes, there is a pay gap. Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians. This is because they choose to, or they simply don’t want to be rushed, or they don’t want to work the long hours. Most of the time, their priority is something else… family, social, whatever. Nothing needs to be “done” about this unless female physicians actually want to work harder and put in the hours. If not, they should be paid less. That is fair.”

Photos of his response quickly went viral and prompted backlash on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp.

“Thank you for publicly displaying your disgusting thoughts on the value of women physicians in the workplace. Is this how you feel about your female patients too? That they don’t do enough? Or don’t try or work as hard because of social or personal commitments?” Dr. Hala Sabry-Elnaggar wrote in response to Tigges’ statement in a Facebook post displaying a photo of the letter. Her post went on to say, “Women physicians have been proven to put their skills into their work with better mortality outcomes and they continue to do this despite the discrimination more than 80% of them face at work. So please educate yourself beyond your medical degree about what your colleagues are doing… and how their presence is important to the healthcare team and to their patients,” and it was signed, “Sincerely, A woman physician who prioritizes her patients.”

Dr. Sabry-Elnaggar wasn’t the only one to speak out against Tigges’ statement; her post alone generated more than 1,200 comments and was shared more than 5,600 times.

Another Facebook post made by Dr. Jean Robey, which features the same image of Tigges’ statement as Dr. Sabry-Elnaggar’s, said, in part, “I trained and practice in an environment that treated my sex like a handicap I needed to own and account for. I was asked what disadvantage my sex was the first day and I was shocked to know I had one and only responded with my perceived disadvantage is my advantage because society and people like you discounted me and my contribution from day one. You would be pressed to find my compassion and intuition and empath and intellect in a male or in another to lay claim that I automatically underachieve or unaccomplished or undercontribute. I will never tolerate being paid less because I’m a woman or to accept the idea that women even with their other demands and roles shouldn’t be supported in medicine or any field to participate in the solution. I will never be unfair but it is bold to say sir that you can simply quantify the disparity in pay because of the disparity in contributions. You will grow to see that more times than not you needed a woman leading and helping. You wait till your loved ones fall ill or you are older and vulnerable. You will be quite remorseful to ever state such sentiments.”

Since its publication, Dr. Tigges has walked back his statement and claims it has been taken out of context, that he did not mean to imply women should earn less for equal work. “My response sounds terrible and horrible and doesn’t reflect what I was really trying to say,” Tigges said. “I’m not saying female physicians should be paid less, but they earn less because of other factors.”

Tigges also stated that he heard from “several trusted female physician colleagues who disagree with and are deeply hurt and offended” by his comments.

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.

Wage Gap Between Female and Male PAs Persists

Despite 70% of PAs being female, they earn significantly less than their male counterparts, a new study has found.

A new study conducted by the AAPA and published this month in Women’s Health Issues has found that there is a glaring disparity between the salaries of male and female PAs. For every dollar a male PA earns, his female counterpart earns only 89 cents—though nearly 70% of all PAs are female.

“As a PA educator, I feel keenly the burden of student debt. One way to think about the impact of the gender pay gap is in the context of the $150,000 in student loans facing a typical PA upon graduation. A male PA earning $10,000 a year more than his female PA counterpart could use that extra money to pay off his student loan debt in 15 years. The disparate treatment of women in the PA profession is simply unacceptable,” L Gail Curtis, President and Chair of the AAPA Board of Directors, is quoted as saying.

While this 11% gap may be shocking to some, compensation disparities between males and females have persisted for decades, and despite years of progress in the fight against the gender wage gap, women continue to make less than their male counterparts for doing the same work in nearly all professions. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, women’s earnings were only 82% of men’s.

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.