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Academic female physicians paid less than male counterparts

Anupam B. Jena

New York, July 12 (IANS) Female academic physicians at public medical schools have lower average salaries than their male counterparts, reveals a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

According to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, the number of women in medicine has grown rapidly since the 1970s, but significant sex differences persist in job achievement and compensation.

“Our use of publicly available state employee salary data highlights the importance of physician salary transparency to efforts to reduce the male-female earnings gap,” said Anupam B. Jena, MD, Harvard Medical School.

The researchers analysed salary information data for academic physicians at 24 public medical schools in 12 states using Freedom of Information laws. They combined that data with information on clinical and research productivity.

The study included 10,241 physician faculty members, of whom 3,549 (34.7 per cent) were women and 6,692 (65.3 per cent) were men.

According to the study, women physicians were less likely to be perofessors than men, they tend to be more specialized in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics.

Women, who had fewer total publications, were less likely to have fundings from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and are less likely to have conducted a clinical trial.

Surgical specialties had the largest sex differences in salaries, while sex differences in salaries were present at all faculty ranks, revealed the study.

Still, factors including faculty rank, age, years since residency, specialty, NIH funding, clinical trial participation and publication count accounted for only a portion of the salary difference.

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