, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 1167-1171

Race and gender differences in general internists’ annual incomes

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Specialty, work effort, and female gender have been shown to be associated with physicians’ annual incomes; however, racial differences in physician incomes have not been examined.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of race and gender on General Internists’ annual incomes after controlling for work effort, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics.

DESIGN: Retrospective survey-weighted analysis of survey data.

PARTICIPANTS: One thousand seven hundred and forty-eight actively practicing General Internists who responded to the American Medical Association’s annual survey of physicians between 1992 and 2001.

MEASUREMENTS: Work effort, provider and practice characteristics, and adjusted annual incomes for white male, black male, white female, and black female General Internists.

RESULTS: Compared with white males, white females completed 22% fewer patient visits and worked 12.5% fewer hours, while black males and females reported completing 17% and 2.8% more visits and worked 15% and 5.5% more annual hours, respectively. After adjustment for work effort, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics, black males’ mean annual income was $188,831 or $7,193 (4%) lower than that for white males (95% CI: −$31,054, $16,669; P=.6); white females’ was $159,415 or $36,609 (19%) lower (95% CI: −$25,585, −$47,633; P<.001); and black females’ was $139,572 or $56,452 (29%) lower (95% CI: −$93,383, −$19,520; P=.003).

CONCLUSIONS: During the 1990s, both black race and female gender were associated with lower annual incomes among General Internists. Differences for females were substantial. These findings warrant further exploration.

No conflicts of interest to declare.
This work was supported in part by VA Health Services Research and Development Grant REA 03-098. Dr. Wallace is the recipient of a VA Health Services Research and Development Advanced Career Development Award. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of the United States government. Dr. Weeks had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.