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Women are becoming doctors in greater numbers. Despite this, there is evidence of female doctors’ continued differential treatment compared to their male counterparts.

The aim of this study was to review systematically the extant literature on the gender-based pay gap in medicine across time, different medical specialties, and different countries of clinical practice.

Systematic search of three databases using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Studies needed to be empirical and contain either an unadjusted or adjusted gender-based finding related to pay.

A total of 46 articles published since 2000 contained a gender-based finding related to physician pay. Across almost all studies, female doctors earn significantly less than men, often tens of thousands of dollars less annually, despite similar demographic and work-related profiles. This earnings gap is persistent across time, medical specialty, and country of practice.


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