Unfortunately, race and gender still play a role when it comes to U.S. doctors paychecks. According to a new study, “black male physicians earn substantially less than white male physicians, while white and black females have comparable salaries.”
Leading author Dr. Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School in Boston also added that “black and white female physicians both have lower incomes than either black or white male physicians.”
Jena and his team explained that there is limited evidence about differences based on race in physician incomes. However, national estimates from 2011 revealed individuals in non-Hispanic white households earn an average of $76,063 per year, while people in black households only earn $47,255 per year.
When it comes to the fact that female physicians earn less than their male counterparts, there’s more evidence to go by. For the new study, researchers analyzed data from two surveys of physicians.
The first involved 43,213 white males and was conducted between 2000 and 2013. The total number of participants was split into 1,698 black males, 15,164 white females, and 1,252 black females.
The second survey, performed between 2000 and 2008, interviewed 12,843 white males, 518 black males, 3,880 white females and 342 black females.
Overall, race definitely had a role in establishing how much male physicians got paid, and the surveys with proved white males were paid more than their black colleagues. Among female physicians, race was not a factor, but they got paid less than their male counterparts.
For instance, data showed half of the white males were paid $253,042 at a minimum, while the average income for black males was just $188,230. White females had a median annual income of $163,234, compared to black women with $152,784.
According to Jena, these pay gaps could be explained several ways; either through differences in negotiating pay, workplace discrimination, or preferences in where people choose to work.
It could also have more to do with the type of medicine participants practiced, rather than race.
“The real issue that’s driving their results is that there are many more white specialists than black specialists, and specialists make a lot more money than primary care physicians,” explained fellow researcher Dr. William Weeks, who was not part of the study.
Image Source: Tabata Times