As women, we’d like to think we can bridge every gender gap there is. There have been more women striving for executive positions and more women in careers which were, back in the day, deemed too physically rigorous for the female body. More and more, women are demanding leading positions to prove that we are just as capable as anyone else.
Which is why its alarming to discover that on average, female doctors make about $50,000 less than male doctors. Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association show that instead of moving forward, the gender pay gap in health-care fields have grown within the past decade.
The Washington Post notes, “In the late 1980s, male physicians earned $33,840, or 20 percent, more in annual salary than their female counterparts. By the late 2000s, that grew to a 25.3 percent gap, a difference of $56,019 per year. The same trends showed up among dentists and physician assistants, but not pharmacists or health insurance executives.”
Although nearly 50% of US medical students are female, the difference in salary is far from equal. The study noted that one of the larger factors of salary was dependent on what type of doctor one became. For instance, specialists, such as surgeons, typically earn significantly more than primary care providers. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than half of the country’s pediatricians are women, but fewer than 10%of orthopedic surgeons are women. And even without taking specialities into account, women still earn significantly less than their male peers.
So what is it? Do women unknowingly choose lower-paying specialties? Are women groomed into choosing particular careers over others? (Similar to the lack of women engineers due to the fact that we never grew up with engineering as a career option.) Women certainly work just as hard as men and are just as deserving.
Tell us what you think below.