Tag Archives: Salary

Sexism in the PA Profession

3 Nov

My free images are limited so this is the best pic I could find for this article 🙂

Today I am calling all feminists. Think back to the years when we were idealists and thought that an individual was capable of making change. When men and women cared about justice and equality. There was the occasional protest maybe, or possibly the burning of unmentionables. We need to grease the joints a little, and get back on the horse.

I was reading an article yesterday on the website called PAs Connect. There was an article there titled Gender Wage Gap Persists for Physician Assistants  What I read there made my muscles twitch and my eyes bug out a little.

I know that women generally make less than men, and there is that whole glass ceiling thing. But PAs and other health care professionals are enlightened, progressive, educated people, right? As it turns out, female PA’s make 29.3% less than their male counterpart. There is a salary difference in almost all areas of healthcare, from dentists to pharmacists. According to the article, we are actually doing worse today than 15 years ago.

Can we take a moment to say “What the heck?!?”. What has happened to feminism and to outrage at these discrepancies? I researched a little further and found multiple articles stating the same thing. Women in healthcare doing the same job are making less. This is true in the physician world as well. Just take a look at the JAMA article from last year titled  Trends in the Earnings of Male and Female Health Care Professionals in the United States, 1987 to 2010.   This article states that,

“A gap in earnings between male and female US physicians has persisted over the last 20 years. Although we adjusted for differences in hours worked and years of experience, our study was limited because the CPS does not include data on specialty, practice type, procedural volume, and insurance mix, all of which could influence our findings. Our inability to adjust for these factors likely explains why we found a gender gap in earnings in 1987-1990, while a previous analysis in this period that adjusted for these factors did not.1 Recent studies suggest, however, that gender differences in earnings still exist even after adjustment for these factors.”

Why do women make less? Maybe its true, women aren’t as valuable. They’re not as smart, not as talented, and are too dramatic. I refuse to believe this. In the ER, I see women kicking butt. I see them seeing complex patients, reducing joints, sewing people up, intubating, splinting, and at the same time showing compassion and walking patients through some of the most difficult time in their lives.

I am mad. And I am calling you to be mad with me. We are not going to accept the status quo. So the next step is what…..I am a little rusty on the action part of this. If you have any ideas, please comment below, and please share this article. This is an important issue and we need both men and women to support equal wages.




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