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The Growing Gender Wage Gap in Medicine (and How Locum Tenens is Different)

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Apr 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

 Gender Wage gap

Doximity recently released its second annual Physician Compensation Report, drawing on the responses of more than 65,000 licensed U.S. doctors across 40 different specialties to provide the most comprehensive view of physician compensation available. Despite the education and training required to practice medicine, there’s seemingly no exception when it comes to the gender wage gap. In fact, on average, the gap is greater in medicine than in other industries.

Times They Are a Changin’... But Not Soon Enough

Across occupations, the average gender pay gap hovers around 20%. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research suggests women have decades to go before we can expect equitable pay, and the rate of change is much slower for women of color.  

According to the Doximity report, there was a 4% increase in physician compensation nationwide between 2016 and 2017. However, the physician gender wage gap actually increased — female physicians made 26.5% less (or an average of $91,284 less) than their male counterparts in 2016, and that difference climbed to 27.7% (or $105,000) in 2017.

Some additional key findings from the latest Doximity report:

  • In 2017, there were 25 metro areas where the gender wage gap was greater than $100,000, and none where it was less than $68,000 in absolute dollars.
  • As of 2017, there is no medical specialty where women earn more than men.
  • In general, medical specialities where physicians earned higher salaries experienced larger gender wage gaps.
  • The overall wage gap is exacerbated by a lack of female-owned private practices; 85% of private practices are owned by male physicians.

In medicine, compensation can be the deciding factor in what specialty a physician pursues, or where they choose to practice. With studies continuing to forecast a critical shortage in physicians across the country, compensation increases are important and promising — but big change is still needed.

In 2017, for the first time ever, more women than men enrolled in U.S. medical schools. If we want to continue to attract medical talent and keep women in medical professions, the gender wage gap must close.

Locum Tenens: Shrinking the Gap, Empowering Women

In addition to exciting career options across the country, paid travel and housing, flexible schedules and other unique benefits, locum tenens work comes with excellent compensation, regardless of gender. Women can make the same hourly rate as men.

Partner with VISTA to try out a locum tenens assignment or get started with your locum tenens career. You’ll be compensated for the quality care you provide and never face any bias or discrimination. Check out our job board to review what’s out there, or contact us anytime.


Topics: Industry Updates, Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, locum tenens work

About VISTA Staffing Solutions

Founded in 1990, VISTA Staffing Solutions helps hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies in the US optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. A leading provider of US Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA has over 28 years of experience providing award-winning service in the locum tenens industry.

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