6 maps that show how far doctors have to go to close the gender pay gap

There is still a big gender gap in medicine.

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There is still a big gender gap in medicine.
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Getty Images

  • Despite doctors consistently ranking at the top of lists of highest-paying jobs, the gender gap is unfortunately alive and well in the field of medicine.
  • Doximity, an online community for healthcare professionals, recently released a study on physician compensation across the US.
  • Their analysis of 50 major metropolitan areas found that the gender pay gap varies widely across US cities, although women in medicine earned less than their male counterparts across the board.

April 2 marks Equal Pay Day in the United States this year. That is, an average woman working from January 1, 2018, until April 2, 2019, would have earned as much as the average man did just in 2018 alone.

A recent study shows that the gender gap extends even to the generally very well-compensated field of medicine.

Doximity, an online community for healthcare professionals, recently released their third annual study of physician compensation, based on self-reported surveys from about 90,000 practicing doctors across the US. Part of the analysis included looking at the size of the pay gap between male and female physicians in 50 major metropolitan areas in the US.

They found that, overall, the gender pay gap declined between 2017 and 2018. In 2017, women in medicine earned, on average, $105,00, or 27.7% less than their male counterparts. In 2018, that dropped to a gap of $90,490, or 25.2%.

Read more: 6 charts that show the glaring gap between men and women’s salaries

Obviously, that means that a large gap still remains. Doximity further found that the state of female physicians varied widely across the 50 metro areas they studied. Even though women in medicine made less than their male counterparts in each of those cities, the extent of the gender gap and related measures is better in some places than others.

Here are six maps that show the state of the gender pay gap for doctors across the US:


The 10 metro areas in Doximity’s study where women in medicine had the highest pay were scattered across the country. Milwaukee came in at the top, with an average salary for female doctors of $351,247.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity

Meanwhile, the metro areas with the lowest pay for female doctors were mostly in the South and Northeast. Providence, RI, had the lowest average pay for female physicians, at $220,482.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity

According to Doximity, the gender pay gap between male and female physicians in 2018 nationally was 25.2%, with the average female doctor earning $90,490 less than her male counterpart. Birmingham, AL, had the smallest gap among metro areas, with female doctors making $28,542, or 9%, less than male doctors.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity

Meanwhile, the gap is far larger in some cities. In Louisville, KY, the average female doctor earned $154,077 less than the average male doctor, a 40% gap.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity

Doximity noted that in 32 of the 50 metro areas they analyzed, the gender gap narrowed between 2017 and 2018. Birmingham, AL, had the biggest improvement in its gender gap over that year, as well as the lowest gap in 2018.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity

However, the gender pay gap widened in several metro areas between 2017 and 2018, especially in cities with larger overall gender pay gaps. The gap between male and female doctor pay increased the most in Louisville, KY, over that year.

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Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Doximity