Differences in Physician Compensation Between Men and Women at United States Public Academic Radiation Oncology Departments

Zachary D. Guss, Qinyu Chen, Chen Hu, Lark G. Guss, Theodore L. DeWeese, Stephanie A. Terezakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: A pay gap between men and women has been identified in many medical specialties. However, radiation oncology has been excluded from most analyses. This study sought to determine whether such a disparity exists among physicians in US public academic radiation oncology departments.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Radiation oncology physician faculty at US public academic medical schools were identified in states that report public university radiation oncology faculty salary. Information pertaining to sex, academic rank, experience, clinical volume, and academic productivity were collected. Simple (1 predictor) and multiple (more than 1 predictor) generalized linear mixed-effect models for compensation were used to simultaneously assess the impact of physician-level and institutional-level variables, while accounting for potential correlations within institutions. To minimize the impact of faculty members working less than a full-time equivalent, a Monte Carlo simulation-based sensitivity analysis was conducted, and faculty with reported salaries under $175,000 were excluded.

RESULTS: A total of 247 eligible faculty (81 women, 166 men) with public salary data were identified at 22 US public academic radiation oncology departments in 14 states. Unadjusted mean salary was 12.6% ($48,974) lower for women ($341,173; 95% confidence interval [CI], $304,581-$382,162) than it was for men ($390,147; 95% CI, $353,693-$430,358; P < .01). A $26,458 gap (6.4%) in mean salary between men ($411,829; 95% CI, $367,282-$461,780) and women ($385,371; 95% CI, $342,388-$433,749) persisted on multivariable analysis after accounting for other factors (P < .01). The salary gap remained statistically significant on sensitivity analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Mean salary for women at US public academic radiation oncology departments was lower than mean salary for men, after adjusting for confounders. Our analysis was limited to public data and could not account for relevant private personal choices and departmental factors. The salary gap may differ in other practice environments. Further research is warranted to determine the cause of this disparity, whether it exists in other practice environments, and how to successfully address it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Academic Medical Centers/economics
  • Data Collection
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Physicians
  • Physicians, Women
  • Radiation Oncologists
  • Radiation Oncology/economics
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Schools, Medical/economics
  • Sex Factors
  • United States

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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