Female, Black Male Ob/Gyns Have Lower Annual Income

Study shows black male physicians make 27 percent less than their white colleagues

FRIDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Both black race and female gender are associated with lower incomes for obstetrician-gynecologists, according to the results of a questionnaire survey published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

William Weeks, M.D., M.B.A., and Amy Wallace, M.D., M.P.H., of Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., obtained survey responses from 962 obstetricians-gynecologists actively practicing from 1992 to 2001 and used linear regression modeling to assess the effects of race and gender on annual incomes.

While black male physicians saw 5 percent more patients and worked an average of 18 percent more hours than their white male colleagues, their income was 27 percent lower. Both white and black female physicians earned about 16 percent less than white males, and white women reported fewer patient visits and work hours than all groups.

The lower incomes reported for black males may be partly due to a higher proportion of Medicaid patients they treat or may be inaccurate due to the small number of black respondents. However, "the 27 percent anticipated income differential between white and black male obstetricians is daunting," the authors write. "These findings warrant further exploration to ensure that income differences among physicians are not unjustly driven by race or gender."

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