Health: Sex Discrimination in the Medical Profession

The Story:

A December 2019 survey by the physician staffing form Merritt Hawkins indicates that men and women in the medial profession are treated differently. The discrimination can involve unequal pay for equal work, inappropriate actions or comments by colleagues within the workplace, or inappropriate actions or comments by patients.


Merritt Hawkins questioned 429 women in medicine. Of these, nearly three quarters of the surveyed physicians (74%) believe that they are not receiving equal pay for equal work, vis-a-vis their male colleagues, even accounting for such factors as different specialties and work hours. Also, nearly as many (73%) say that discrimination hurts their morale. Nearly one third say that they have considered early retirement due to discrimination.

Pay gaps first arise quite early in a physician’s career, with a lower base salary and.or lower performance bonuses, and the gaps continue until retirement.

In Pill Form:

Surveyed physicians generally point to unconscious employer bias as the reason for the pay gap. Other contributing factors were put forward, including the possibility that men in the field are either better at negotiating or more inclined to take an aggressive negotiating posture with an employer than are their women colleagues.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.