A look at income: male vs. female ob/gyns

August 1, 2007

Income equity is well within reach for female ob/gyns, according to a study in Obstetrics and Gynecology (05/2007). Despite years of gender inequality in income among ob/gyns, the most recent available data demonstrates that "male and female obstetrician-gynecologists who practice in the same manner appear to receive the same incomes."

Income equity is well within reach for female ob/gyns, according to a study in Obstetrics and Gynecology (05/2007). Despite years of gender inequality in income among ob/gyns, the most recent available data demonstrates that "male and female obstetrician-gynecologists who practice in the same manner appear to receive the same incomes."

How has this come about? The study found that, although female ob/gyns earned 20% to 25% less than their male colleagues, this income gap could be explained by gender differences in practice patterns and productivity. Male ob/gyns were more likely to be Fellows and to subspecialize; female ob/gyns were more likely to take salaried positions and less likely to work in private practice. In addition, among all ob/gyns studied, women worked 5% fewer hours, saw 8% fewer patients, and performed 14% fewer procedures per week than their male counterparts.

"Gender does not matter," wrote Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, PhD, the author of the study. "It is only when female obstetrician-gynecologists choose less financially rewarding practice arrangements or do less, (work fewer hours, see fewer patients, perform fewer procedures) that they earn lower incomes."