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Research Letter
February 8, 2021

Association of Salary Differences Between Medical Specialties With Sex Distribution

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 3University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor
  • 4Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(5):524-525. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5683

Sex-based differences in physician compensation persist. Female physicians tend to make less money than their male colleagues in their first jobs1 and as faculty members.2-4 Various explanations have been proposed; however, concerns such as predictable hours, length of workday, and frequency of after-hours duties did not account for salary differences,1 whereas specialty explained about half of observed salary differences between women and men.1,4 Prior studies have not detailed whether specialties with higher representation of women have lower compensation in general. We sought to create a physician salary model based on the proportion of women in each specialty, hypothesizing that more women in a specialty would be associated with lower salaries for both men and women.

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