Salaries for female physicians average some $19,879—eight percent—lower than male physicians. At academic hospitals, male physicians receive more research funding and are more than twice as likely as female physicians to rise to the rank of full professor.
These disparities have historically been attributed to the effects of disproportionate domestic responsibilities—including maternity leave and subsequent part-time schedules. As physicians Rita Redberg and Anna Parks note, this can be perceived to "undermine the quality of female physicians' work and explain male physicians' higher salaries."
But no. Female physicians actually tend to provide higher-quality medical care than males, according to research released today. If male physicians were as adept as females, some 32,000 fewer Americans would die every year—among Medicare patients alone.