Women Physicians Still Earn Less Than Their Male Counterparts              

A recent study by Medscape showed us the sad facts: women physicians in general medicine as well as those in specialities are still earning less than their male counterparts. But not as much less.

On a somewhat positive note, the overall percentage difference between men and women has decreased slightly since the 2011 Medscape report, from 28% in 2011 to 24% this year. Additionally, fewer women are in the higher-paying specialties, which affects the magnitude of the difference. [1]

The women are still selecting the traditional areas of practice: family practice, pediatrics and gynecology. Since their male counterparts choose the more lucrative specialties, dermatology, cardiology and infectious disease, these higher earnings plus their longer full-time career tracks give them the edge over women physicians in the less lucrative fields.

So why does this matter?

Women doctors will have less income to create wealth for their retirement years. And yes, more women than men do take leaves of absence for child-bearing, child-rearing and care giving which tends to make them less likely to have put in the time and dollars for wealth creation. That is why it is more critical for women physicians to pay attention to the opportunities they have to create wealth, like maximizing their contributions to their 401k plans, looking at alternative investment strategies to build personal wealth, and making sure they opt for less conservative/ guaranteed investment choices in favor of a more balanced wealth creation strategy.

And the usual answer is: I don’t have the time.

Planning for your retirement does not have to take inordinate amounts of time if you find the right advisor. If your advisor is someone who can “run alongside you” and understands the limited time you have to devote to this, then you have a trusted colleague who you can serve you well. Attending a seminar sponsored by the product sales people you run into in the hallways is not a well-thought out strategy. Understood it is spawned by a sense of resignation and lack of time.

We are here to help. Please contact us to see if a 15 minute conversation would help you move in the right direction. We are Fee-Only financial advisors specializing in financial planning for women physicians. lynn@lynnsevans.com

[1] Medscape Physician Report, 2015

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