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Emergency Medicine News' Salary Survey

Emergency Medicine News' Salary Survey

Why Are Male EPs Happier than Female EPs?

Hoffman, Lisa

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000490525.61269.5a
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    Gender and salary. No article in this series about our salary survey brought more comments than the one in April where we reported that male emergency physicians earn more on average than their female counterparts — 24 percent more. (http://emn.online/SalSurvey2.) Men on average made $267,623 compared with women's $215,338, and the higher the salaries went, the more the disparity grew.

    Readers weren't happy about that, especially one who said the data were wrong because the same starting hourly rate is offered regardless of gender. Next time we run the survey, we'll ask about hourly rate and overall salary to get a more nuanced look at what EPs earn. As one EP tweeted to us, that makes sense in a shift-based specialty.

    This month, though, we look at gender's influence on other aspects of practicing emergency medicine. Take career satisfaction, for example. Overall career satisfaction was higher in male EPs than in female emergency physicians: 84 percent vs. 77 percent. Money is a prime motivator for satisfaction, and this could be a byproduct of men reporting a higher base salary. Women were more likely to express dissatisfaction with their careers than men. About 15 percent of women said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied with their careers as compared with about nine percent of men.

    Male emergency physicians also reported higher satisfaction with their employers than female EPs. Nearly 78 percent of men said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their employers compared with about 68 percent of women. Employer dissatisfaction mirrored those findings: Nearly 13 percent of male EPs said they were very or somewhat dissatisfied with their employers, while more than 20 percent of female EPs reported those same levels of dissatisfaction.

    A majority of women surveyed — 56.7 percent — reported working fewer than 40 hours per week compared with 42 percent of men working similar hours. EPs reporting working more than 40 hours each week also varied among genders: 47.7 percent of men and 38 percent of women. In fact, more than 15 percent of male EPs reported working more than 51 hours per week compared with nine percent of female EPs. Weekly hours seeing patients were proportional to total hours worked per week among both genders. A majority of men and women spent 31 hours or more each week seeing patients: 59.8 percent for female EPs and 67.9 percent for male EPs.

    Another area that revealed a gender difference were in the hours EPs reported doing paperwork. Female EPs said they spent less time per week on administrative responsibilities like completing medical records than male EPs. Sixteen percent of men work at least 21 hours per week on these tasks compared with nine percent of women. The number of EPs who reported spending the most time on paperwork also differed by gender: 3.7 percent of female EPs and 6.4 percent of male EPs reported spending more than 31 hours each week on administrative tasks. The EMN survey also found that more female EPs work in a hospital or health care system (41.6%) while male EPs were more likely to be in independent group practices (38.8%).

    Board certification was fairly uniform among male and female EPs at 88 percent and 90 percent, respectively. And they responded equally about the role of salary in their career. Most said they would like to be paid fairly, but also wanted a healthy work-life balance. And male and female EPs also reported similar types of salary increases: 66 percent of women and nearly 64 percent of men said they received flat percentage increases, and nearly 34 percent of women and 36 percent of men reported increases based on goal achievement.

    Next month: Part 2 of Gender. We'll cross-reference gender with title, age, practice locale, years in practice, and more in next month's salary survey article. We'll also publish that article ahead of print in our Aug. 16 enews. Sign up for the enews (free!) at http://emn.online/enewsSignup.

    More Data Online

    Tables of the raw data on the topics covered this month are published in the EMN Salary Survey blog on our website: http://emn.online/SalarySurveyBlog.

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