Original Article

Salary Disparities in Academic Urogynecology: Despite Increased Transparency, Men Still Earn More Than Women

Authors: William D. Winkelman, MD, Andrea Jaresova, MD, Michele R. Hacker, ScD, Monica L. Richardson, MD, MPH


Objective: To understand the compensation differences between male and female academic urogynecologists at public institutions.

Methods: Urogynecologists at public universities with publicly available salary data as of June 2019 were eligible for the study. We collected characteristics, including sex, additional advanced degrees, years of training, board certification, leadership roles, number of authored scientific publications, and total National Institutes of Health funding projects and number of registered clinical trials for which the physician was a principal or co-investigator. We also collected total number of Medicare beneficiaries treated and total Medicare reimbursement as reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We used linear regression to adjust for potential confounders.

Results: We identified 85 academic urogynecologists at 29 public state academic institutions with available salary data eligible for inclusion in the study. Males were more likely to be an associate or a full professor (81%) compared with females (55%) and were more likely to serve as department chair, vice chair, or division director (59%) compared with females (30%). The mean annual salary was significantly higher among males ($323,227 ± $97,338) than females ($268,990 ± $72,311, P = 0.004). After adjusting for academic rank and leadership roles and years since residency, the discrepancy persisted, with females compensated on average $37,955 less annually.

Conclusions: Salaries are higher for male urogynecologists than female urogynecologists, even when accounting for variables such as academic rank and leadership roles. Physician compensation is complex; the differences observed may be due to variables that are not captured in this study. Nevertheless, the magnitude of disparity found in our study warrants further critical assessment of potential biases within the field.
Posted in: Obstetrics and Gynecology21

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