Recruiting Female Physicians

Recruiting Female Physicians

According to the AAMC, more than one-third of actively practicing Physicians today are female. These numbers will only continue to grow as more females than males are entering medical schools for training. This trend makes it vital for recruiters to understand this Physician population’s compensation profiles, work environment, and preferences.

The Most Popular Female Medical Specialties Coming Down the Pipeline*

Internal Medicine IM has become the top specialty for the largest number of female Resident Physicians. More than 10,000 female Residents have made it their specialty-of-choice.

Pediatrics The treatment of infants, children, and adolescents is a popular area of medicine for female Residents. This specialty has attracted over 6,000 women to practice.

Obstetrics and Gynecology OB-GYN is the top, female-dominated specialty in medicine. Over 82% of practicing OB-GYN’s are female with an additional 4,000 Female Residents ready to join the ranks.

Compensation Profile

They Receive Lower Compensation Female Physicans are compensated less on average than are males performing the same jobs. Most female Physicians make around $51,000 less a year than do their male counterparts (3).

Female Faculty Members Fare Better A 2016 study of gender-related pay in US Medical Schools found that there was over a $19,000 pay gap between female and male faculty members(2). This was noted even after adjusting for specialty of practice, experience, Physician age, revenue, research, and rank. Female faculty members with Full Professorship were found to be making salaries on par with male Associate Professor counterparts in the study(2). Although this gender-related discrepancy is remarkable, female faculty have less of a pay gap to contend with than do those Physicians working outside of academia.

They Receive Lower Reimbursements A 2016 study analyzing Medicare reimbursements found that female Physicians were compensated less for services than were male Physicians(1). This difference in reimbursement equaled over $18,000 dollars and was present despite accounting for Physician’s experience level and productivity. All things being equal, female Physicians were paid less for the same work.

They Have Better Patient Outcomes

Female Physicians who treated geriatric patients in the hospital had lower mortality and readmission rates than male Physicians(5). They have also been shown to treat both genders equally regarding drug therapy, often leading to better outcomes for female patients(5). Some of these positive outcomes could also be related to the fact that more female Physicians utilize psychosocial, team-based approaches with patients, using more positive, encouraging and reassuring language.

Work Hours & Burnout

Female Physicians rival their male counterparts in regard to time at work, clocking an average of 58 hours a week. This may come at a price though, as they are more likely to suffer burnout when compared to their male counterparts(3).


(1) Desai T, Ali S, Fang X, et al Equal work for unequal pay: the gender reimbursement gap for healthcare providers in the United States. Postgraduate Medical Journal Published Online First: 15 August 2016. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2016-134094(2) Jena AB, Olenski AR, Blumenthal DM. Sex Differences in Physician Salary in US Public Medical Schools. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(9):1294-1304. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.3284(3) Athena health Inc. Insight- Infographic: Gender disparities among Physicians. Tsugawa Y, Jena AB, Figueroa JF, Orav EJ, Blumenthal DM, Jha AK. Comparison of Hospital Mortality and Readmission Rates for Medicare Patients Treated by Male vs Female Physicians. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):206–213. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7875(5) Baumhäkel M, Müller U, Böhm M. Influence of gender of physicians and patients on guideline-recommended treatment of chronic heart failure in a cross-sectional study. Eur J Heart Fail. 2009;11(3):299–303. doi:10.1093/eurjhf/hfn041* ACGME Residents and Fellows by Sex and Specialty, 2017 Association of American Medical Colleges.