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  • Gender Pay Gap

    I was wondering what everyone's real world experience is in regards to women getting paid less than men.  I've always heard and read the headlines saying that women get paid less, which I can't deny, but I also am not clear whether it's an apples-to-apples comparison being made (same pay for same work), if it's due to salary negotiation, or whether it's a form of sexism by employers as some seem to be suggesting.  Would appreciate your thoughts and insight.

  • #2
    I think there is data to support an actual gender gap in pay in medicine (same work, less pay). In my experience though, I have not seen it. The 3 main employers in my town have pretty transparent pay structures and pay is pretty set or totally based on productivity. I think you're more likely to see it in salaried situations or where pay is not transparent or people won't talk about it.

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    • #3
      There's a little known formula in Medicare that causes female providers to be paid less. I've heard that some private insurers have been following Medicare's lead on this.

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      • #4
        It's often not apples to apples, but I have seen studies where they did compare apples to apples. The gap is smaller, but it still exists. I've been fortunate that I don't think I've ever been in a physician job where the pay was different- residency, military, current partnership. But that's not entirely true. There is some room to negotiate as a pre-partner, and you can guess which gender does a better job of that in my N of 10.
        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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        • #5
          My personal opinion - women are less likely to negotiate, so not only can they make less from the get go, but may not ask for other things that are negotiable and not salary - vacation, other benefits.

          Don't confuse gender pay gap with the fact that if you take maternity leave it will definitely affect your income.

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          • #6




            There’s a little known formula in Medicare that causes female providers to be paid less. I’ve heard that some private insurers have been following Medicare’s lead on this.
            Click to expand...


            Please provide a reference for this preposterous statement.

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            • #7
              Psst. Sarcasm. Psst.

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              • #8
                Speaking from our practice, partners are all paid equal. For pre partners, there's a pay discrepancy of those I know, but I think that's more based on experience and negotiating, not on gender directly. Is there a blind bias there? Hard to rule out but hard to support with my small sample size.

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                • #9
                  Im sure its more obvious in fields where pay is negotiated more. There are lots of studies that show women are less confrontational and dont stand up for themselves which translates into less pay as they arent willing to negotiate, etc...They are also viewed harshly when they do, so its a double whammy whereas a man is considered strong.

                   

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                  • #10
                    Yes, of course it's preposterous.

                    If female docs are making less than their male colleagues it's because they aren't working/coding as much as or they aren't negotiating as well with their employers. I suspect it's the former.

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                    • #11
                      In my current job we all get the same $$ per RVU so any difference would be on how busy we are, however I've heard numerous examples of women getting passed over for academic promotions in favor of men with less experience and qualifications.

                      True, many women don't negotiate as much, but we are also viewed as overly aggressive when we do so are more likely to be punished for negotiating at all

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                      • #12




                        True, many women don’t negotiate as much, but we are also viewed as overly aggressive when we do so are more likely to be punished for negotiating at all
                        Click to expand...


                        I have heard this before, and I wonder about it.  Men also get labeled as "difficult to work with", "arrogant", "jerks", etc. when they negotiate hard.  It seems the successful negotiators just don't care about the labels and name calling, male for female.  There is a large swath of the male population who avoid conflict, and I am sure these guys aren't in any hard fought salary negotiations that propel them to higher wages than their female counterparties.  In fact, I would hypothesize that the medical profession would self select and over-represent people who don't like business negotiations, both male and female.

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                        • #13
                          Studies that purport to show female physicians earning less than their male counterparts typically say they have controlled for the number of hours worked. This ignores that large fixed costs associated with employing a physician.  In our practice, it is over $50K/year.  This is unchanged if you are working sixty hours per week or sixteen.

                          In my specialty, females (as of some years ago) worked on average 0.45x as much as males (this takes into account females working in non-clinical jobs as well as those who don't work at all, so the average female/male multiple of females doing clinical work would be more).  This overstates the amount worked by female physicians in my circle of acquaintances.  On average, they are married to high earning spouses and between the cost of high quality child care, the challenge of optimizing two jobs in one location (often the couple for whatever reason decides to optimize the male's job prospects, and when there is a spouse not in medicine that typically means moving to oversupplied city with much lower physician salaries) and especially the progressive nature of the tax code where all of the marginal income from either spouse is taxes at the couple's marginal rate (Many times this can equate to a marginal rate of >60%), plus the added SS taxes, one spouse is highly encouraged to work less.

                          For many jobs there are minimal fixed costs - for medicine they are huge and probably make up for most of the difference.  Some groups/institutions chose to absorb these for non-full time physicians, but they have to be paid one way or the other.

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                          • #14
                            The 77 cents on the dollar thing is complete nonsense.  Anyone peddling this is pushing an agenda and has little interest in discussing truth.  When studies control for all the confounding variables the gap shrinks to less than 10 cents on the dollar.  When I took a negotiations class my professor (female) stated that this small gap can be erased with better negotiating skill, or rather than women conforming to gender stereotypes and not negotiating better creates this small gap.  Does sexism exist?  Of course.  Are all situations equal and fair?  ************************ no.  On an individual basis when this occurs I think we would all be united in attacking these problems.  But when talking about broad numbers it's vital to recognize the confounding variables and other items such as negotiation skill.  Otherwise it's equality of outcomes one seeks, not fairness of the playing field.  As for where I work everyone gets paid the same.

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                            • #15




                              The 77 cents on the dollar thing is complete nonsense.  Anyone peddling this is pushing an agenda and has little interest in discussing truth.  When studies control for all the confounding variables the gap shrinks to less than 10 cents on the dollar.  When I took a negotiations class my professor (female) stated that this small gap can be erased with better negotiating skill, or rather than women conforming to gender stereotypes and not negotiating better creates this small gap.  Does sexism exist?  Of course.  Are all situations equal and fair?  ************************ no.  On an individual basis when this occurs I think we would all be united in attacking these problems.  But when talking about broad numbers it’s vital to recognize the confounding variables and other items such as negotiation skill.  Otherwise it’s equality of outcomes one seeks, not fairness of the playing field.  As for where I work everyone gets paid the same.
                              Click to expand...


                              Your professor's statement sounds like the definitive study on this.

                              I am not a labor economist, and I don't know the cause of the wage gap.  Maybe it's sexism, maybe it's conforming to gender roles, maybe it is the probability that a woman will take maternity leave, I don't know.  I am pretty sure that anecdotes aren't they way to identify and solve the problem though.

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