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Internists Express Need for Gender Equity in Physician Compensation, Career Advancement

New Orleans, April 20, 2018 — The American College of Physicians (ACP) convened a panel today to discuss ways to achieve gender equity in the medical profession. “Achieving Gender Equity in Physician Compensation and Career Advancement,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on April 17, provides a set of recommendations that addresses the challenges women in medicine face including equity in physician compensation, career advancement, and bias.

Panelists included Jack Ende, MD, MACP, ACP president, ACP; Darilyn Moyer, MD, FACP, ACP executive vice president and chief operating officer; Susan Thompson Hingle, MD, MACP, Chair, ACP Board of Regents ; and Sue Bornstein, MD, FACP, ACP Regent.

“The goal of this paper was to not only shine a light on the challenges that female physicians face, but to identify solutions to help break down the barriers women in medicine confront throughout their careers,” said Dr. Ende. “ACP hopes that this paper is a step forward in ensuring that physicians are compensated equally and fairly for comparable work at all stages of their professional careers in accordance with their skills, knowledge, competencies, and expertise regardless of their characteristics or personal identity.”

ACP’s paper recognizes that progress has been made to ensure gender diversity in the physician workforce, but acknowledges that more needs to be done to eliminate gender inequities. The panel highlighted how a diverse physician workforce helps patients and the greater medical community foster environments of inclusivity and growth. It also touched on the importance of parental and family leave policies for physicians, residents and medical students, how physicians who work less than full time can experience different treatment, and the impact of compensation inequities on female physicians.

“Promoting gender equity and addressing the challenges women in medicine face, including workplace discrimination, work-life balance, and expanding leadership opportunities for female physicians, is a longstanding goal of ACP,” said Dr. Hingle. “Tackling these issues is essential for the internal medicine community to benefit from the full potential of female physicians in the workforce.”

ACP’s paper also calls for academic institutions, healthcare organizations, physician private practice groups, and professional physician membership organizations to take steps to increase the number of women in leadership positions in medicine. The recommendations call for policies that improve transparency and enforce a routine assessment of the equity of physician compensation arrangements by all organizations that employ physicians, while strongly opposing harassment, discrimination and retaliation of any form based on characteristics of personal identity, including gender, in the medical profession.

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 152,000 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.