Docs rarely earn top drug, hardware payments: Study

Doctors received Less financial compensation from pharmaceutical and medical device companies compared to their male counterpartsAnd gender pay differentials widened the most from 2013 to 2019, according to a study published today in JAMA Surgery.

Cross-sectional analysis was performed by faculty from the University of California and Weill Cornell Medicine’s surgical departments. The researchers used publicly reported data from the Open Payments Database to determine the 15 largest medical supply companies in terms of earnings and total compensation paid to physicians.

Some of the larger companies included Medtronic, Fresenius, Abbott, Stryker, and Novartis. Compensation was calculated using only general payments, such as gifts, royalties, travel and accommodation expenses, and consulting and speaking fees. Physicians were excluded if a significant portion of their compensation resulted from a proprietary interest.



Of the 1,050 payments made by companies over the 6-year period from January 2013 to January 2019, only 3.1% of the highest earners were women. On average, physicians were charged $41,320, while male physicians charged $1,226,377. The difference in median wages between male and female physicians grew from $54,343 in 2013 to $166,778 in 2019.

Male gender was significantly associated with higher payouts after adjusting for academic rank, major, and number of articles published.

Mahrana Jafari, MD, director of clinical research in the department of surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and an investigator on the study, said Medscape Medical News The results were “amazing”.

“I wasn’t expecting such low rates for high-income women and such a huge wage gap,” she said. “To find the top [female] In companies, we had to look at an average of 79 men. This is the reality that professionals live in, and it is important to show it [disparities] Other than the salary.

Besides compensation, females who do not participate in the “industry-doctor relationship” miss out on “networking and communication opportunities that can lead to mentorship opportunities, access to research, and career advancement,” the study says.

Gender bias is still around the board

Female doctors long ago She mentioned that she earns less of their male peers. The gamma The study found that men had higher average compensation across all disciplines, even in female-dominated disciplines such as pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. For example, obstetrician/gynecological men received three times higher industrial payments than obstetrician/female women, although, according to the study, women make up more than 60% of all obstetrics/women.

The largest disparity in payment was for orthopedics, with males receiving the average yearly payment of $1,752,573 while women received $24,387. Other male-dominated fields, such as urology and neurosurgery, also have significant payment gaps.

In disciplines with a higher female-to-male ratio, female compensation was still lower than that of men. Of the 81 highest-paid general surgeons, 44 were female and 37 were male. However, male general surgeons received 12.5 times higher general payments than their female counterparts ($82,678 for men, $6504 for women).

Compensation disparities also affect academic medicine. The study found that female academic physicians who were professors earned 6.6 times less than their male colleagues who were professors — and women were more likely to be associate professors or associate professors while men were more likely to hold full professor positions.

Jafari says these results are in line with A 2016 study Where researchers could not calculate a 39% pay gap between male and female academic physicians, even after controlling for multiple factors, including faculty rank, age, years of experience, specialization, NIH funding, and participation in clinical trials, The number of publications, Medicare reimbursement.

“Putting the burden of inequality on women has allowed this to continue,” Jafari says. “[Women] They are not asked to sit at the table, and excuses such as parenthood should stop being part of the conversation. Men have children, too.”

While Jafari says additional studies are needed to determine the cause of persistent wage differentials, now is the time to “fix the system” as More than half of medical students in the United States One third of the doctors are female.

JAMA Surgery. Posted on September 28, 2022. Summary

Steve Webber is a freelance journalist based in the Midwest who specializes in health care and law.

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