By Ginger Christ The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Nationally, female doctors are paid 26.5 percent -- or $91,284 -- less than males. And, although the rate of pay disparity varies, there is no city or medical specialty in which women are paid more. The gender gap is especially off balance in Cleveland which has the 18th greatest gender gap in the country.
Cleveland, a city where the healthcare industry as a whole is one of the largest employers, is not winning any awards for pay equality in the medical field.
Cleveland has the 18th greatest gender wage gap in the country. Here, female physicians are paid 27 percent -- or $92,320 -- less than their male counterparts, according to a recent study by Doximity, a social network for physicians.
Female physicians in Cleveland earn an average annual wage of $246,210, while men make $338,530.
Area hospitals couldn't immediately provide wage information on local doctors. However, the Cleveland Clinic pays physicians an average $196,000 per year; University Hospitals pays $165,000 per year; and MetroHealth pays $156,000 per year, according to reviews on Glassdoor.
Nationally, female doctors are paid 26.5 percent -- or $91,284 -- less than males. And, although the rate of pay disparity varies, there is no city or medical specialty in which women are paid more.
"We always saw a gap present across geographies and specialties," said Joel Davis, vice president of growth and analytics at Doximity.
The gap is largest in Charlotte, North Carolina, where female physicians are paid 33 percent less than males. Across specialties, women generally receive anywhere from 18 to 20 percent lower compensation.
Chris Whaley, lead author of the report and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, said it was "shocking" to review the results of the study in terms of gender and hopes the study will help inform the field.
"One contributor to wage differentials is the lack of transparency around wage," Whaley said. "Once you have that information, you're an informed consumer."
In Columbus, women physicians are paid 28 percent less than men and in Cincinnati women are paid 24 percent less, according to the study, which used information from 36,000 full-time U.S. physicians.
Across jobs and across the workforce, women generally are paid 20 percent less than men.
Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a nonprofit advocating for women and families, attributed the discrepancy to a number of factors, including the number of hours women work, uninterrupted years on the job and whether those jobs involve management positions.
"There are a number of different reasons but they all add up to real dollars and cents," Shabo said.
Kevin Miller, senior research for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a nonprofit organization promoting women's equity, said the gender wage gap has been growing smaller for the past four decades. However, that narrowing of the gap has been occurring at a slower rate since about 2000, he said.
"I think further change or faster change is going to take more intentional action," Miller said. "We don't have a crystal ball and we can't see the future but we know the advancement has slowed down."
To create better equity, the country will need to reevaluate gender norms and gender roles, he said. For example, society pays men more to watch cars than it does for women to watch children, he said.
"In my mind, the part of the story that's really compelling is that people think women's work is less valuable," Miller said.