Female radiologists had an unadjusted average annual salary of $289,797, a difference of less than 1% compared with the average annual salary of $290,660 for men. After adjustments, female academic radiologists actually made more than men, with an adjusted average annual salary of $285,127, compared with an adjusted average annual salary of $282,749 for male academic radiologists.
Radiology was the only major medical specialty in which the average adjusted annual salary for women exceeded that of men, according to the study team led by Dr. Anupam Jena, PhD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston (JAMA IM, July 11, 2016).
The researchers performed their analysis by extracting salary information published online from 24 public university medical schools in 12 states, comprising a total of 10,241 academic physicians. They adjusted the salary data based on age, years of experience, faculty rank, scientific authorship, and other factors.
Overall, female physicians made 20% less than their male counterparts, with a mean annual salary before adjustment of $206,641, compared with $257,957 for male physicians, a difference of $51,315. The difference narrowed but still persisted after adjustment, with female physicians making a mean salary of $227,783, compared with $247,661 for men, a difference of 8% or $19,878.
|Salary differences by gender at academic institutions (adjusted)
The salary differences persisted across faculty rank at the U.S. medical schools surveyed, with female full professors having salaries comparable to male associate professors, and female associate professors reporting salaries similar to male assistant professors.
Radiology may be a rare success story in terms of achieving gender equity in physician salary, according to the study. Not only did women radiologists have higher adjusted salaries than men, but a 2014 study by Jena et al found that radiology had the smallest difference in academic rank between gender in all specialties.
"Radiology had among the smallest sex differences in full professorship of all specialties, which suggests the potential importance of evaluating specific specialties to understand the practices associated with improved male-female equity in academic medicine," Jena and colleagues wrote.
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