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ACP Research Report Calls for Gender Equity in Physician Compensation and Career Advancement

Washington, DC (August 7, 2018) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) published the results of research today in the Annals of Internal Medicine that examines recent data on physician compensation by gender in the field of internal medicine. Compensation Disparities by Gender in Internal Medicine provides insight into why disparities in physician compensation between genders exist in internal medicine and the larger medical community.

ACP conducted a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative panel of ACP nonstudent members in the United States and found that female internists earn less than their male counterparts whether they are internal medicine specialists, hospitalists, or subspecialists. Our study found that these disparities exist even when controlling for specialty, number of hours worked, and practice characteristics. Research showed that the median annual salary for men was on average $50,000 higher than women—with females earning 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. Further, the data highlighted that female physicians earned less than men in every specialty, ranging from a salary difference of $29,000 for internal medicine specialists to $45,000 for subspecialists.

“While actionable steps have been taken to improve gender diversity in the medical workforce, very real barriers to equity in physician compensation still exist,” said Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP, president, ACP. “ACP strongly supports any efforts to eliminate the gender inequities that exist in compensation and career advancement opportunities for females in the internal medicine profession. Our convenience sample study adds to the body of literature of physician gender pay inequity and serves as a call to action to find solutions to correct and prevent these inequities.”

Promoting gender equity and eliminating the inequities in compensation physicians can face is a longstanding goal of ACP. In April, the College published a paper, Achieving Gender Equity in Physician Compensation and Career Advancement, in the Annals of Internal Medicine calling for the adoption of equitable compensation policies in all organizations that employ physicians, investment in leadership development, negotiation and career development programs, and parental and family leave policies.

“This research is a step forward in ensuring that physicians are compensated equally and fairly at all stages of their professional careers in accordance with their skills, knowledge, competencies, and expertise regardless of their characteristics or gender,” said Dr. López.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-4523, jhirschhorn@acponline.org