BACKGROUND: The US physician workforce includes an increasing number of women, with pediatrics having the highest percentage. In recent research on physicians, it is indicated that men earn more than women. It is unclear how this finding extends to pediatricians. METHODS: We examined cross-sectional 2016 data on earnings from the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study, a longitudinal study of early- and midcareer pediatricians. To estimate adjusted differences in pediatrician earnings between men and women, we conducted 4 ordinary least squares regression models. Model 1 examined gender, unadjusted; model 2 controlled for labor force characteristics; model 3 controlled for both labor force and physician-specific job characteristics; and model 4 controlled for labor force, physician-specific job, and work-family characteristics. RESULTS: Sixty-seven percent of Pediatrician Life and Career Experience Study participants completed the 2016 surveys (1213 out of 1801). The analytic sample was restricted to participants who completed training and worked in general pediatrics, hospitalist care, or subspecialty care (n = 998). Overall pediatrician-reported mean annual income was $189 804. Before any adjustment, women earned ∼76% of what men earned, or ∼$51 000 less. Adjusting for common labor force characteristics such as demographics, work hours, and specialty, women earned ∼87% of what men earned, or ∼$26 000 less. Adjusting for a comprehensive set of labor force, physician-specific job, and work-family characteristics, women earned ∼94% of what men earned, or ∼$8000 less. CONCLUSIONS: Early- to midcareer female pediatricians earned less than male pediatricians. This difference persisted after adjustment for important labor force, physician-specific job, and work-family characteristics. In future work, researchers should use longitudinal analyses and further explore family obligations and choices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health