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Gender pay gap widens again: Regions where men and women doctors have the biggest differences in salary

Here's a breakdown of the metropolitan areas where physicians and specialists make more money than others, based on gender and geography.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Doctors across the country saw an average 4-percent wage increase from 2016 to 2017, but compensation varied greatly by region, gender and specialty, according to the second annual Physician Compensation Report from Doximity. 

While Charleston, North Carolina saw an average annual salary of $402,273, the highest in the report, Durham, North Carolina saw the lowest, at an average of $282,035. Milwaukee ($398,431), Jacksonville, Florida ($379,820) and Indianapolis, Indiana ($378,011) were among the metro areas with the highest average annual salary, while Ann Arbor, Michigan ($302,692) and Baltimore ($304,002) were among the lowest. 

From 2016 to 2017, the metro areas with the largest increase in physician compensation were Charleston, South Carolina (11.6 percent or $33,182 more); Milwaukee (7.3 percent or $52,601 more); Austin, Texas (7.2 percent or $45,605 more); San Francisco (6.9 percent or $58,184 more); and Las Vegas (6.7 percent or $47,256 more).

When looked at in terms of medical specialty, neurosurgeons made the most, with an average annual salary of $662,755; neurosurgery was followed by thoracic surgery ($602,745), orthopedic surgery ($537,568), vascular surgery ($476,300) and plastic surgery ($473,212).

The five medical specialties with the lowest average annual salary in 2017 were pediatric infectious disease ($191,735); pediatric hematology and oncology ($208,524); pediatric endocrinology ($214,911); pediatrics ($221,900); and preventive medicine ($231,838).

Meanwhile, there has long been a pay gap between male and female doctors, but in 2017 that gap actually increased. Female doctors earned 27.7 percent less, or $105,000 less, than their male counterparts. The disparity in 2016 was 26.5 percent, when female doctors earned $91,284 less. There was no medical specialty in which women earned more than men.

Charleston, South Carolina had both the largest gender wage gap (female physicians earn 37 percent or $134,499 less) and the largest increase in gender wage gaps, with an 8.6 percent increase. 

The medical specialties with the largest gender wage gaps were hematology (female physicians earn 20 percent or $78,753 less); occupational medicine (20 percent or $59,174 less); urology (20 percent or $84,799 less); orthopedic surgery (19 percent or $101,291 less); and gastroenterology (19 percent or $86,447 less).

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com