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The EMN Salary Survey: The Gradual Rise of Female Leaders in EM

Lam, Jackie

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000547703.34226.09
The EMN Salary Survey

Ms. Lam is the associate editor of Emergency Medicine News.

More female EPs have been given management responsibilities, but the bulk of those still appear to be held by their male colleagues, according to the 2017 EMN Salary Survey. Fewer women said they didn't manage anyone, however, at 72 percent in 2017 compared with 75 percent two years prior.

The 2015 and 2017 results across the number of employees managed remained largely the same, except for the 16-20, 21-25, and more-than-30 groups. Previously, only one percent of female EPs said they supervised 16-20 employees, but that jumped to three percent in 2017. On the flip side, fewer female physicians reported managing 26-30 people at one percent, down from two percent in 2015, and more than 30 employees at seven percent, a decrease from six percent before.

The average ages of male and female EPs inched up to 49 years old from 48 in 2015 and to 46 from 45, respectively. The number of women pulled even with that of men in the older age groups of 46-50 and 51-55 in 2017 at 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively. More male EPs (15%) fell in the 46- to 50-year-old population than female EPs (11%) in our 2015 survey, and this was true also in the 51- to 55-year-old demographic (13% of men v. 11% of women). Men continued to dominate the older-than-60 category, however. The distance, in fact, widened between the two genders in this age group—seven percent of women and 15 percent of men fell into this group in 2015, but eight percent of women v. 19 percent of men reported themselves to be over 60 in 2017.

This perhaps correlates with how long female EPs stay in practice. The average number of years of practice has increased for men and women in EM to 18 years from 17 years and to 14 years from 13 years, respectively, compared with 2015. Most female EPs still reported six to 10 years of practice, with an even higher number, 26 percent, saying so in 2017 compared with 23 percent in 2015, and most male EPs, 18 percent of them in 2017 v. 19 percent in 2015, said they had been in practice for 11 to 15 years. The percentage of EPs still dropped off as the years of practice increased for both genders in 2017, but fewer women said they had been in practice for more than 30 years (6% v. 5% in 2015) and more men said so, 17 percent compared with 13 percent two years ago. More women reported being in the next highest category of 26 to 30 years at six percent compared with five percent in 2015, but that still lagged behind the 10 percent of men (8% in 2015) with the same number of years of experience.

Similarly, the percentage of women who self-identified as a chief or director of an ED increased to eight percent from four percent in 2015, still smaller than the percentage of men in the same position, which rose to 15 percent in 2017 from 14 percent before. The good news here, however, is that women are closing that leadership gap with men and the number of women holding the ED chief or director title increased at a greater rate than that of men over the past two years. The percentage of women who reported themselves to be staff emergency physicians decreased to 66 percent from 69 percent in 2015, perhaps because more women moved up the ladder. That percentage remained unchanged for male survey respondents at 73 percent from 2015 to 2017. Men and women were equally numbered in the EM residency director and EM resident categories at two percent and one percent, respectively.

Gender differences didn't come into play in terms of locale in 2015, and that held true in our 2017 survey. One interesting finding was a shift toward suburban and remote areas for men and women in 2017. Forty-five percent of women said they lived in a suburban area compared with 43 percent before, and 46 percent of men reported the same v. 42 percent in 2015. No women reported living in a remote area in our last survey, but three percent said they did in 2017. The percentage of male respondents living in a remote area stayed the same at one percent between the two years.

Most EPs still worked in EDs with more than 30,000 visits per year, but fewer in both genders reported that compared with 2015. Seventy percent of female EPs and 73 percent of male EPs said they worked in an ED that saw more than 30,000 visits a year in 2015, but only 68 percent of women and 71 percent of men reported that in 2017. The women from that group seemed to have migrated to EDs with 20,001 to 25,000 annual visits: The percentage of female EPs working in these EDs increased to six percent from three percent in 2015. It's more difficult to trace where male EPs moved because they are evenly distributed across categories, but the 10,001-15,000 group saw the biggest increase to five percent from four percent in 2015.

Next month: Then and Now: Board Certification. We'll cross-reference board certification with gender, age, years in practice, type of employer, and more in next month's salary survey article. We'll also publish that article ahead of print in our enews. Sign up for the enews (free!) at http://bit.ly/EMNenews. You can also find past salary survey articles with additional tables in the Emergency Medicine News Salary Survey blog at http://bit.ly/EMNSalarySurvey.

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