ACC Resolution on Gender Equity in Physician Compensation Passes AMA House of Delegates

An ACC-proposed resolution calling for steps to be taken to reduce the gender gap in physician compensation passed the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates June 12 at the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago.

The resolution acknowledges significant differences in salary and compensation between male and female physicians even after adjustments for factors such as age, experience and specialty. It cited research stating that despite improvements in explicit gender discrimination, annual salaries at 24 U.S. public medical schools are 8 percent lower for female physicians than for their male counterparts. This gap widens over the course of a female physician’s career, reflecting the persistence of implicit biases and cultural stereotypes that continue to disadvantage women in male-dominated fields.

To address this issue, the ACC resolution called for the AMA to advocate for institutional and departmental policies to make the criteria for physician compensation more transparent; advocate “for equal base pay based on objective criteria;” work to promote bias and compensation determination training for people in positions to decide physician compensation; promote “a specified approach, sufficient to identify gender disparity, to oversight of compensation models, metrics and actual total compensation for all employed physicians;” and begin educational programs to help all physicians negotiate equitable compensation.

The resolution resulted from ACC efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in cardiology. “In the U.S., about 50 percent of medical students and internal medicine residents are women, but the number of young women going into cardiology is only about 20 percent,” said Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, MACC, co-chair of the ACC Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion and one of ACC’s representative to the AMA House of Delegates, in an interview. “We looked at every aspect that makes cardiology unattractive to women. One thing we found is that there is a gender pay gap, and it is substantial. In cardiology, it is about $35,000 per year, which averages out over a career to be more than $1 million. For all physicians, it is about $20,000 per year.”

The ACC is committed to improving diversity within the cardiovascular workforce. Visit for more information on the College’s diversity and inclusion strategy.

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Female, American Medical Association, Physicians, Women, Salaries and Fringe Benefits, Physicians, Internal Medicine

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