Last week marked my first week as a doctor. Like thousands of my colleagues, I began intern year with a combination of enthusiasm and dread. On my first day of clinic, I woke well before dawn, full of nervous energy. I collected my precious intern paraphernalia — my stethoscope, my Pocket Medicine guide, and my crisp long white coat. I filled the pockets of my new uniform, smoothed the hems, and, as a finishing touch, began applying the pins I wore throughout medical school to the collar.
In 2015, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research published an alarming statistic: on average, women made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. Even more alarming was the fact that when the study controlled for qualification or stratified by job title, the gender wage gap persisted. Unfortunately, medicine is not immune to the gender wage gap phenomenon. According to data from the US Census Bureau, women make up one-third of US physicians, but on average make only 69 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. This results in over $56,000 in potential wages lost for women in medicine each year.