THURSDAY, March 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There are significant sex differences in salaries of clinical department chairs in public medical schools in the United States, according to a research letter published online March 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Michael Mensah, M.D., from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues used online 2017 salary data from 29 public medical schools in 12 states to assess salary differences between 550 female and male department chairs.

The researchers found that a total of 92 chairs (16.7 percent) were women. The unadjusted mean difference in annual salary by sex was $79,061 (mean for men: $452,359; mean for women: $373,298). The salary difference by sex was $67,517 after adjusting for term length, specialty, inflation, title, and regional cost-of-living differences. These differences in salary persisted in sensitivity analyses that additionally controlled for academic productivity and salary database. For chairs serving >10 years, men were paid $127,411 more than women.

“The observed salary disparities reveal the pervasiveness of sex inequity even at the highest levels of academic medicine’s hierarchy,” the authors write.

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