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Here are the Percentages of Female Physicians in Each Specialty

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We’ve been looking at gender-related issues for male and female physicians over our last few posts, as found in the 2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report, noting that vast discrepancies still exist between the genders.

For example, we learned that self-employed men are likely to make $65,000 more than women, while hospital-employed women will make nearly $50,000 less than their male counterparts. We also learned that women are more likely to work part-time hours by an 11 percent margin than men, which is one of the reasons cited for the lower compensation rate for female physicians.

Another reason cited, however, is that the higher-paying specialties are comprised mostly of men.

Therefore, the next question asked by the report is: “Which specialties have the most female physicians?”

According to Carol Peckham over at Medscape, the specialties with the fewest female physicians are urology at 8 percent and orthopedics at 9 percent.

Cardiology is next with 12 percent of its specialists being female, followed by gastroenterology at 14 percent, pulmonary medicine at 17 percent, and radiology and plastic surgery tied at 18 percent.

Moving into the 20-percentile range, we find that 20 percent of general surgeons are female, while 22 percent of ophthalmologists and EMPs are female. Twenty-three percent of anesthesiologists and 25 percent of nephrologists are female, while 26 percent of allergists and immunologists are. Female specialists comprise 28 percent of neurology and oncology and 29 percent of rheumatology.

Thirty-one percent of infectious-disease specialists are female, while the critical-care and dermatology specialties have 32 percent female specialists. More than a third of internists and family-medicine specialists are female (33 and 35 percent, respectively), while 37 percent of specialists in the psychiatric and mental-health fields are female. Female pathologists comprise 38 percent of that specialty.

Forty-four percent of endocrinologists are female, while the highest-ranking specialties, both at 50 percent female, are pediatrics and OB/GYN and women’s health.

As physicians who are looking for jobs, how much do you think these percentages influence the previously discussed compensation discrepancies? Why are fields such as urology and cardiology male-dominated? Furthermore, are male physicians more attracted to the higher-paying specialties than female physicians?

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