HealthDay News — A gender-based salary gap persists among academic emergency medicine physicians, according to a study published in the March issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

Jennifer L. Wiler, MD, from the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues assessed trends in the salary of academic emergency physicians over 4 sequential time periods of survey administration (2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017; 7102 respondents over all time periods). Included responses represented 81 departments across the 4 main geographic regions of the United States (Northeast, South, West, and Midwest).

The researchers found that most of the survey respondents across the 4 time periods were men (65%) and reported primary clinical appointments at an academic emergency department (94%). Across the study period, overall salaries increased, with an overall relative 10.8% change in median salary. The relative percentage change for female respondents was 10.6% compared with 11.1% for male respondents. Not adjusting for academic rank, men had higher median salary increases ($226,746 in 2013 to $252,000 in 2017) than women ($217,000 in 2013 to $240,000 in 2017), with significance at all 4 time points. The median average salary gap was $12,000 in 2017. When adjusting for covariates, gender significantly predicted median adjusted salary, with women earning significantly less.

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“Assuming that salary equity will right itself over time without definitive action is magical thinking,” Gail D’Onofrio, MD, professor and chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and physician-in-chief of emergency services at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, said in a statement. “A radical one-time salary adjustment based on rank, position, and years of service, followed by ongoing vigilance, is needed.”

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