Background Much remains unknown about experiences, including working activities and pay, of women in cardiology, which is a predominantly male specialty. Objectives The goal of this study was to describe the working activities and pay of female cardiologists compared with their male colleagues and to determine whether sex differences in compensation exist after accounting for differences in work activities and other characteristics. Methods The personal, job, and practice characteristics of a national sample of practicing cardiologists were described according to sex. We applied the Peters-Belson technique and multivariate regression analysis to evaluate whether gender differences in compensation existed after accounting for differences in other measured characteristics. The study used 2013 data reported by practice administrators to MedAxiom, a subscription-based service provider to cardiology practices. Data regarding cardiologists from 161 U.S. practices were included, and the study sample included 2,679 subjects (229 women and 2,450 men). Results Women were more likely to be specialized in general/noninvasive cardiology (53.1% vs. 28.2%), and a lower proportion (11.4% vs. 39.3%) reported an interventional subspecialty compared with men. Job characteristics that differed according to sex included the proportion working full-time (79.9% vs. 90.9%; p < 0.001), the mean number of half-days worked (387 vs. 406 days; p = 0.001), and mean work relative value units generated (7,404 vs. 9,497; p < 0.001) for women and men, respectively. Peters-Belson analysis revealed that based on measured job and productivity characteristics, the women in this sample would have been expected to have a mean salary that was $31,749 (95% confidence interval: $16,303 to $48,028) higher than that actually observed. Multivariate analysis confirmed the direction and magnitude of the independent association between sex and salary. Conclusions Men and women practicing cardiology in this national sample had different job activities and salaries. Substantial sex-based salary differences existed even after adjusting for measures of personal, job, and practice characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine