Study Shows Female Physicians Are Paid At 40 Percent Lower In Kentucky

F.J. Thomas

Sarasota, FL ( – A new report from Physicians Thrive indicates that female physicians are paid at a much lower rate than their male counterparts, and that some specialities have seen a reduction in salary as high as 10 percent. The 2020 Physician Compensation report was gleaned from a multitude of sources including Bureau of Labor StatisticsDoximity,, Merritt Hawkins, and Medscape, and offers insight to industry hiring and salary trends.

Overall, the Midwest, Southwest, and Great Plains regions have seen the greatest trend in salary increases, due in part to a need for physicians and population growth. For largest salary increases however, the Midwest, Great Plains, Southwest and Southeast are all seeing larger increases than the Northeast. While the Northeast is still seeing salary increases, they are not as large as other regions, with the report speculating that a higher concentration of qualified physicians could be a contributing factor.

The need for providers is expected to grow through at least 2028, with psychiatrists and family medicine providers seeing the biggest increase. The top states with the highest percentage of providers aging out and retiring includes New Mexico, Hawaii, New Jersey, Montana, and Maine.

Seattle saw the largest growth in salary at 15 percent, followed by Hartford at 13 percent, and Riverside and Cincinnati at 12 percent. The regions with the largest decreases in salary included San Antonio and Tampa, both at 10 percent. Virginia Beach came in second at 7 percent, closely followed by Louisville at 6 percent, and Miami at 5 percent.

Surprisingly, Kentucky topped out as the state with the highest median salary of $346k. Tennessee came in second at $338k median salary, followed by Florida at $333k and Alabama at $332k.

While Kentucky may have ranked first for top median salary, the state along with Jefferson County Indiana failed miserably when gender gap reimbursement was reviewed. Female physicians were paid 40 percent less than their male counterparts. In New Orleans, women physicians were paid 32 percent less than male physicians. Austin, Hartford and Dallas all ranked third for highest gender wage gap, paying female physicians 31 percent less than males.

The region with the lowest gender wage gap was Birmingham, Alabama at 9 percent. Bridgeport, Conn., came in second at 10 percent, followed by Seattle, Washington at 15 percent, Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 14 percent, and Jacksonville, Fla., at 16 percent.

There were definite differences in salary changes when broken out by specialty. Public Health and Preventative Medicine salaries increased overall by 11 percent, followed by Allergy & Immunology at 9 percent. Orthopedics came in third with a 6 percent increase, followed by Oncology and Neurology tying at 5 percent.

Family Medicine saw the biggest salary reduction at 8.3 percent, followed by dermatology at 2 percent. OB/GYN saw a decrease of 1.9 percent in salary, followed by Otolaryngology at 1 percent.

Neurosurgeons and Cardiologists have remained the highest earners with an overall median salary of $600k. However, Neurosurgeons in the Midwest topped the median by $160,000 earning an average salary of $760k per year. Cardiologists in the Western region topped the median salary by $50,000, earning an average of $650k per year.

The specialties that included the highest gender wage gap included Pediatric pulmonology at 23 percent less for female providers. ENT and Urology tied second at 22 percent. Radiology ranked third at 21 percent, followed by Pediatrics at 20 percent.

The lowest gender wage gap specialities included Hematology at 4 percent, Rheumatology at 8 percent, Radiation Oncology at 9 percent. Thoracic Surgery and Plastic Surgery tied at 11 percent wage gap for female physicians.

Overall, female primary care physicians earned 25 percent less at $212k annually than their male peers at $264k. For specialists the gap is even higher. Female specialists earned 30 percent less at $286k annually than male specialists at $385k.

The specialities with the highest number of female residents is pediatric with 73 percent, and OB/GYN at 80 percent.

The full report dis available on the Physician Thrive website.

News brought to you by