Male Physicians Are Earning Way More Than Women: 7 Ways to Counteract it 

Male Physicians Are Earning Way More Than Women: 7 Ways to Counteract it 

Women physicians are known to spend more time providing emotional support to their patients. They also have higher positive outcomes than many of their male counterparts across most specialties. However, they are still paid much less than male doctors with the same qualifications. The gender pay gap has been an issue for decades, even in the medical field. Let’s take a closer look at why this occurs, and what can be done to counteract it. 


Do Female Physicians Really Earn Less?

Before we jump into solutions, let’s take a look at the problem. Physicians are some of the highest-earning members of our society. That may make people wonder do female doctors get paid less for providing such expert care. In reality, female physicians receive lower starting offers and fewer opportunities for advancement than their male counterparts according to recent studies. Female doctors also spend more time with each patient and thus treat fewer patients in a day, which results in lower rates of billing in many practices. 

Productivity & The Gender Wage Gap

A study out of Yale suggested that one way to change the pay discrepancies between genders is to change the policies around billing. In most practices, physicians bill based on the number of patients they see as opposed to the amount of time spent with each patient. Improving productivity policies can help bridge the gap and improve overall patient care.  

Encourage Physician Compensation Pay Audits

Pay audits allow employers to see the difference in pay between men and women in the same position. Performing these audits regularly will help hiring managers identify flaws in their hiring strategies as well as how their pay scales are affecting each gender. Once the reasons for the pay disparity are identified, it will be easier to remedy the cause. Audits should be completed annually for the most effective results. 

Photo by Yan Krukau

Bring Compensation Transparency to the Forefront

Most hospitals and clinics shroud employee compensation in a sheath of secrecy. As a result, it makes it harder for female physicians to negotiate for better wages. Instead of insisting that wages remain secret, pushing transparency is the best way to allow physicians to ask for equitable pay within similar roles. This method has been proven to help reduce gender wage gap disparities within the field of medicine. 

Phase Out Negotiable Salary Listings

Women are less likely to negotiate their salaries when applying for a physician’s position. While smart negotiations can help bridge the gender pay gap, it is not the only way to remedy pay disparities. Removing ambiguous wording and negotiable salary offers in listings will help even the playing field for both genders. According to statistics, women are half as likely to apply to a post that has vague or negotiable salary wording. Employers can help level the field by basing compensation packages on skills, certifications, and experience regardless of gender. 

Update Gender Neutral Policies

Many gender-neutral policies within the medical field can greatly hamper a woman’s financial success. Policies that include grant qualifications, awards of tenure, and even PTO can all be affected by the unique challenges female physicians face. Many of these policies don’t take into account the biological needs and experiences of women such as time off for labor, delivery, childcare, and other gender-specific issues. Including these metrics in gender-neutral policies will help reduce the pay gap and move such policies toward actual gender neutrality. 

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov

Focus On The Data

Employers need to use information that is data-driven to formulate actionable solutions to gender-based inequitable pay. Performing studies on the existing employee base and the applicant pool is essential. This will allow employers to obtain metrics on various career stages, specialties, and demographics more accurately. The data will then allow for a targeted response to actual gender pay gap disparities as a whole within their organization. For female physicians, this will mean more equitable wages without risking their careers to push for equal pay. 

Paying Close Attention To Physician Credentialing

Patients can get the best care when they have access to a wide range of medical professionals. Credentialing is one of the most important steps in the hiring process that will enable access to that care. Unfortunately, it is also one of the main methods used to increase the gender pay gap in many healthcare settings. Creating a set time frame for this process can help reduce the gap and ensure that patients are receiving the best care possible during each visit.  

Supporting Equal Pay For Female Physicians

For a lasting impact concerning gender pay disparities in the medical field, real action must be taken. This includes institutional, interpersonal, and individual efforts that cross all levels along the medical career path. Current programs are inadequate which means that a real catalyst is needed to innovate change. With the tips above, equal pay between the sexes will be easier to achieve.

Justin Nabity is the founder and CEO of Physicians Thrive, now a part of Larson Financial Group where he is a Partner. Physicians Thrive is an advisory group helping physicians avoid business and legal pitfalls and build their financial education. In his free time, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He has been involved in mentorship programs, is active in his church, and enjoys keeping up with public policy. He’s also an avid travel fan and likes spending time outdoors, including training for various Ironman triathlons. Justin has been featured in Bankrate, MSN, Carol Roth, and Insurance News. Additionally, you can listen to an interview with him on the ROI of Why Podcast. 

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