We sought to understand the effect of gender on compensation among colorectal surgeons and to determine which factors contribute to gender-based differences in compensation.
The gender-based wage gap in the medical profession is among the most pronounced wage gaps in the U.S. Data regarding the wage gap among colorectal surgeons and the underlying reasons for this disparity remain unclear.
The Healthcare Economics Committee of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) conducted a survey to evaluate surgeon demographics, compensation, and practice characteristics. To evaluate the effect of sex on compensation, we performed multivariable linear regression with backward selection. We used a two-sided p-value with a significance threshold <0.05.
The mean difference in normalized total compensation between men and women was $46,250, and when salary was adjusted for FTEs, the difference was $57,000. Women were more likely to perform anorectal surgery, less likely to perform general surgery and less likely to hold positions in leadership. After adjustments, women reported significantly lower compensation (aOR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.80-0.97). Time spent doing abdominal surgery (aOR, 1.13; 95% CI 1.03-1.23), professor status (aOR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.03-1.32) and instructor status (aOR, 1.49; 95% 1.28-1.73) were independently associated with compensation.
We found a 12% adjusted gender wage gap among colorectal surgeons. Gender-based differences in leadership positions and allocation of effort may contribute. Further research will be necessary to clarify sources of wage inequalities. Still, our results should prompt expedient actions to support closing the gap.

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