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Laryngoscope. 2019 Jan;129(1):113-118. doi: 10.1002/lary.27311. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Compensation of Otolaryngologists in the Veterans Health Administration: Is There a Gender Gap?

Author information

1
Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
2
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
3
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare Seattle Division, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
4
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
5
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
6
Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

To determine if gender pay disparity exists amongst otolaryngologists employed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

STUDY DESIGN:

cross-sectional analysis.

METHODS:

Board-certified otolaryngologists employed at all complex Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) in 2016 were identified. Salaries were collated using the Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart dataset. Additional variables, including gender, years since medical school graduation, professorship status, h-index, and geographic location were collected. A multivariate linear regression analysis was performed where salary was the primary outcome of interest and gender was accounted for as an independent predictor while controlling for professional characteristics, geographic location, and seniority.

RESULTS:

Sixty-nine VHA surgical programs with an operative designation of "complex" were identified. Two hundred sixty board-certified otolaryngologists, including 197 (75.8%) men and 63 (24.2%) women, were identified. Salary data were available on 210 of these otolaryngologists. In 2016, the mean salary for male and female otolaryngologists was not significantly different ($266,707 ± $31,624 vs. $264,674 ± $27,027, P = .918) nor were salaries in early career ($243,979 ± $31,749 vs. $254,625 ± $24,558, respectively; P = .416). On multivariate linear regression analysis, number of years since graduation (P = .009) and h-index (P = .049) were independent predictors of salary, but gender, geographic location, and faculty rank were not.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the gender pay gap persists in many areas of medicine and surgery, otolaryngologists employed at complex VAMCs do not experience gender pay disparity. The use of specific and objective criteria to establish and adjust salaries can reduce and potentially eliminate gender pay disparity. These findings may help to guide institutional policies in other practice environments.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

2b. Laryngoscope, 129:113-118, 2019.

KEYWORDS:

Gender; Veterans Health Administration; otolaryngology; pay gap; workforce

PMID:
30152025
DOI:
10.1002/lary.27311

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