Female academic ophthalmologists are paid less than their male counterparts
New findings suggest that female academic ophthalmologists are paid less than their male counterparts, highlighting continued pay inequalities despite growing numbers of female ophthalmologists.
Data show that female academic ophthalmologists were paid an average of $50,300 (95% CI, $4,600-$96,000) less than male ophthalmologists.
“These findings underscore the importance of female representation and empowerment in the field,” wrote study author Parisa Emami-Naeini, MD, MPH, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. , University of California, Davis, Sacramento.
Previous reports from the Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) show an increase in the representation of women in the medical workforce, reflected in the field of ophthalmology at a rate of 14-17% at the start of the 21st century and rising to 25% in 2020.
However, significant disparities persisted in academic rank, with proposed explanations suggesting differences in years of practice, number of hours worked and type of fertility. Despite this, disparities persisted when analyzes controlled for these factors.
In the current cross-sectional study, investigators analyzed data from full-time medical school faculty that were categorized by gender, degree, academic rank, and department. Data from the US medical school faculty salary report for fiscal year 2019-2020 was used to determine disparities in total compensation for female and male academic ophthalmologists.
The report contained the total compensation of 122,732 full-time faculty from 154 accredited medical schools in the United States. In addition, a total of 84,980 professors (40.8% women) were included, including 1,607 professors (39.8% women) in ophthalmology, 16,142 professors (32.5% women) in other surgical specialties and 67,231 professors (42.8% women) in non-surgical specialties. .
The data shows that female ophthalmologists received 77% of the median salary of males, which ranged from 77% (head level) to 91% (instructor level). Compared to other specialties, ophthalmology had the second lowest salary ratio between women and men (after general surgery, 75%), while the proportion was higher among non-surgical specialties (82% ).
In all specialties, women earned less than men by amounts ranging from $25,100 (95% CI, $1,000 – $49,300) in non-surgical specialties to $104,400 (95% CI, 62 $800-$146,600) in general surgery.
Additionally, regardless of an individual’s gender, a specialty with higher female representation had lower total compensation. For every 10% increase in the number of women, an associated decrease of $49,100 (95% CI, $36,000 – $62,100) in total earnings for that specialty (P <.001 was observed.>
“Future research and efforts to increase awareness and close the pay gap are warranted to encourage more women to pursue ophthalmology education and achieve pay parity,” Emami-Naeini concluded.
The brief report, “Gender Differences in Salaries for Academic Ophthalmologists in the United Stateswas published in JAMA Ophthalmology.