HealthDay News — Female residents in general surgery have lower expectations for a minimum starting salary and perceive salary negotiations less favorably than male residents, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in JAMA Surgery.

Kelsey Gray, MD, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from 407 responses from residents at general surgery programs across the United States.

The researchers found that compared with men, female residents had lower expectations for their minimum starting salary ($249,502 vs $267,700) and ideal starting salary ($334,709 vs $364,663). Opinions about salary negotiation were less favorable for women. Women were less likely to believe they had negotiation tools (18.6 vs 31.7%) and to pursue other job offers to assist with negotiating a higher salary (70.1 vs 82.6%). Compared with male residents, female residents were less likely to be married (34.5 vs 50.4%) and to have children (14.1 vs 24.8%); women believed that they would have more home responsibilities than their significant other (43.5 vs 15.2%). No difference was seen in anticipation of working hours, expected age of retirement, or interest in holding leadership positions, having academic careers, and pursuing research.

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“This survey provides insight into the perspectives held by the next wave of physicians entering the general surgery workforce and provides some insight into potential areas in which resident education may help to address some of the gender disparities that exist in general surgery,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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