Male doctors earned more than female doctors across all specialties, says WebMd’s first annual online survey to better understand physician compensation and productivity trends.
15,000 physicians from 22 specialty areas responded to the online survey in February, 20011. For all physicians, females earned a median of $160,000 while males earned a median of $225,000. The same held true among primary care doctors, where female physicians earned $140,000 compared to their male counterparts who earned $170,000.
The wage gap is likely a result of a variety of factors, but the survey revealed that the number of hours worked and the chosen specialty contributed to the lower pay. Female physicians spend fewer hours per week seeing patients than male physicians; by a two to one margin, women are more likely to spend less than 30 hours a week seeing patients. In addition, fewer women are represented in higher-earning specialties.
Practice Size Matters
Physicians working in larger practices with 100 or more physicians earned a median of $167,000, when compared to solo physicians who earned the least, at a median income of $144,000.
Physician Hours at Work
Physicians not only spend time with their patients, but also spend a good part of their work week on other professional activities. Our survey finds that most doctors devote hours to paperwork, clinical reading, administrative and supervisory work, and other professional activities each week. Looking at primary care physicians in private practice, 31% work from 10 to 14 hours per week on nonpatient activities, while 22% of employed doctors put in that much time on nonpatient work.
Medscape has published the Physician Compensation Report for 2011, which includes the full survey and feature coverage, on its website.