Earnings gap seen among Maryland physicians


Male physicians in Maryland reported higher earnings than did female physicians, even when they all worked 41 or more hours a week, according to a 2018 survey of physicians in the state.

Average annual income for physicians working 41 or more hours a week

The average pretax income for all 508 respondents was $299,000 in 2016: Male physicians (66.6% of the sample) had an average of $335,000 and women averaged 33% lower at $224,000, MedChi (the Maryland State Medical Society) and Merritt Hawkins reported on July 31. Men did report working a longer week: Their average of 50.5 hours was 11% more than the 45.4-hour average for women.

“The biggest disparities we see in compensation are between male and female physicians in Maryland,” Gene Ransom, MedChi’s chief executive officer, said in a written statement. “Though such disparities have been noted in other research, it is still surprising to see the extent to which they persist.”

Of the respondents who worked an average of 41 or more hours per week – an analysis conducted only for the three largest specialties in the survey – female internists earned 27% less than their male counterparts, female psychiatrists earned 24% less, and female family physicians earned 26% less, the survey results showed.

Earnings were structured somewhat differently for Maryland’s male and female physicians. Women were more likely to be compensated in the form of a straight salary than men (35.0% vs. 30.3%), and men were more likely to paid based on production (22.7% vs. 16.9%) or in the form of an income guarantee (0.9% vs. 0.0%). Proportions receiving a salary with a production bonus were 42.7% for men and 42.5% for women, according to the survey.

The survey was commissioned by MedChi and conducted by Merritt Hawkins from Jan. 10 to Feb. 23, 2018. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4%.

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