Women in academic medicine may earn less than men do, even when their academic accomplishments are comparable, according to a study being published in the April issue of Academic Medicine.
Researchers at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy looked at 3,080 randomly selected of men and women doing research in the life sciences with NIH funding at the top 50 academic medical centers. They found that women earned annually anywhere from $6,000 to $13,000 less than similarly qualified men, controlling for productivity and other personal factors.
The study looked at a number of indicators including leadership positions, publications, and hours worked in their professional activities.
Women working in the life sciences should not assume they are being paid as much as equally qualified men, and academic institutions should look hard at their compensation and advancement policies and their cultures. In the end, I suspect major systemic changes will be needed if we ever hope to achieve the ideal of equal pay for equal work in academic medicine.
A new contributor to Scope, Stesha Doku is a second-year Stanford medical student writing about international health, medical technology and education. She is currently doing public health research in Sydney, Australia.