Factors Accounting for the Gender Compensation Gap among Female Ophthalmologists

A study sought to examine the relative importance of various paths of influence on base salary with bonus (SWB) received in the first year of clinical practice for female ophthalmologists. The results were presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2021 annual meeting.


Alexander P. Lazzaro, BA, MBA, MS, and colleagues, used multiple linear regression analyses that controlled for the number of work clinic and operating room (OR) days, negotiation success and other key variables to assess the population of interest. Path analysis models were then developed to display the effects of these variables’ roles in the influence of female ophthalmologist compensation.


The results found that female ophthalmologists working equal amounts to male colleagues would narrow the SWB gender wage gap to $4,876 with equal workdays (P < 0.01), $3,708 for clinic days (P < 0.01), and $2,240 for OR days (P < .05). The researchers noted that through successful negotiation, female ophthalmologists would earn a per-year increase in SWB ($37,700 for workdays, P < 0.01; $40,123 for clinic days, P < 0.01; $36,856 for OR days, P < 0.01).


“A difference in annual SWB between male and female ophthalmologists continues to exist even after controlling for key variables,” the investigators concluded. They added that, “understanding the causal relationships among variables related to female ophthalmologists’ SWB is critical to finding solutions that will minimize this compensation gap.”


Source: Lazzaro A, et al. Factors Accounting for the Gender Compensation Gap for Ophthalmologists in the First Year of Clinical Practice: A Path Analysis. Poster 246. Published for AAO 2021; Nov. 12-15, 2021, New Orleans, LA.