Representation of women in medicine and ophthalmology has increased in recent years. However, substantial inequities still exist between salaries for male and female physicians.
To evaluate the status of disparities in compensation among US academic ophthalmologists and compare compensation across specialties.
This cross-sectional study analyzed data for full-time academic physicians practicing in 154 accredited US medical schools. Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges Faculty Salary Report for fiscal year 2019-2020 were used to evaluate disparities in total compensation for female and male academic ophthalmologists.
Median total compensation for female and male ophthalmologists in fiscal year 2019-2020.
Female academic ophthalmologists were paid a mean of $50 300 (95% CI, $4600-$96 000) less than their male counterparts. This trend was present across other specialties with women earning less than men by amounts ranging between $25 100 (95% CI, $1000-$49 300) in nonsurgical specialties and $104 400 (95% CI, $62 800-$146 600) in general surgery. Including all academic ranks, women’s total compensation was between 75% (general surgery) and 82% (nonsurgical specialties) of men’s compensation.
These findings indicate that female academic ophthalmologists are paid less than their male counterparts. Future research and efforts to increase awareness and close the pay gaps seem warranted to encourage more women to pursue careers in ophthalmology and to achieve parity in the field.