Home From The Editor Gender gap: bias or more work options?

Gender gap: bias or more work options?

November 2012

Published in the November 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

WHEN WE FIRST started surveying hospitalists in 2008, one result that jumped out at me was troubling: Female hospitalists were making almost 20% less than their male colleagues.

I wondered if the data were a blip, but over the last five years, each of our annual surveys has found the same thing. Women hospitalists report earning significantly less than the men whom they work alongside.
Part of me finds it hard to imagine that in a young specialty like hospital medicine, where physicians tend to embrace concepts like teamwork and collegiality, women physicians would face outright discrimination in the form of lower pay. But women all over the world earn less than men, so it’s a possibility.

As our cover story this month concludes, there’s no simple answer behind the gender pay gap in hospital medicine. While some think that old-fashioned bias is the root of the problem, others say that women are making less because they work differently than their male colleagues. Many women are less eager to pick up extra shifts, for example, and more reluctant to jump into leadership roles. Both of those factors can certainly affect pay.

The article delves into these issues. The article might open your eyes as to how members of your group are paid “and approach hospital medicine “differently.

While you’re at it, consider taking a look at this year’s survey results, which are online at www.todayshospitalist.com. We’ve posted more than 80 charts from the 2012 Compensation & Career Survey with details on everything from hospitalist pay to productivity.

And keep an eye out later this month for a special issue of Today’s Hospitalist, which will take a close look at hospitalist compensation trends. It’s an issue you won’t want to miss.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher