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Gender differences in the annual income of psychiatrists.

Weeks WB, Wallace AE. Gender differences in the annual income of psychiatrists. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2007 Apr 1; 58(4):515-20.

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OBJECTIVE: Female physicians have traditionally earned less than their male counterparts, even after adjustment for specialty, workload, and physician characteristics. In the 1980s female psychiatrists earned incomes that were 13% lower than those of their male counterparts; however, important explanatory variables for such differences were not incorporated into that analysis. This study examined whether a gender income gap among psychiatrists persisted in the 1990s. METHODS: Survey responses were used that were obtained between 1992 and 2001 from 976 actively practicing white psychiatrists (weighted N = 941). Because of low numbers of black respondents to the surveys, we were unable to examine the influence of race on psychiatrists' incomes. Linear regression modeling was performed to determine the association between gender and annual incomes after controlling for workload, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics. RESULTS: Among white psychiatrists, women reported working 13% fewer annual hours than their male counterparts, and women had practiced medicine for fewer years than men. Also, women were more likely to be employees of the practice, as opposed to having an ownership interest in the practice, and were more likely to be board certified, although these findings were not significant. After adjustment for workload, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics, the mean annual income for women was $140,615, or $31,962 (19%) lower than that of men (95% confidence interval of $41,834-$22,090 lower, p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: During the 1990s female gender was associated with lower annual incomes among white psychiatrists; compared with previous reports from earlier periods the income disparity appears to be widening. These findings warrant further exploration.

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