Unexplained pay disparity exists between male and female early-career physician-researchers, according to an article published in the Academic Medicine journal.
Researchers accounted for specialty, academic rank, work hours and spousal employment and found a 10 percent pay disparity. The disparity, they found, was greater within higher-paying specialties. Women in emergency medicine earned an average of $165,114 compared with men in the specialty who earned $195,771.
About one-third of the initial 17 percent pay disparity could be attributed to the influence of gender-linked beliefs that men need more money to support families. The other two-thirds of the disparity were unexplained.
One potential reason is that women often negotiate salary less aggressively than men and often are judged more harshly for initiating negotiations, researchers said. The authors suggested female residents and fellows take part in salary negotiation training prior to faculty appointments.
“Scholars have noted that gender differences in salary that exist early in a career are likely to widen over time, and that initial salary negotiation may merit particular attention,” researchers wrote in the study.