Gender-Based Salary Inequities Among Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Physicians in the United States

Published:December 21, 2019DOI:


      • Our study addresses the question of whether or not there are there gender-based inequities for physicians of pediatric rehabilitation medicine, and, if affirmative, what factors contribute to these differences.
      • Our study performing surveys of the field demonstrated statistically significant differences between men and women.
      • Practice- and research-based gender inequities exist for physicians of pediatric rehabilitation medicine.



      To assess whether gender inequities exist for pediatric physiatrists and, if affirmative, what factors account for this difference.


      Cohort study.


      Online REDCap survey administered via e-mail.


      Pediatric physiatrists practicing in the United States in 2017.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Respondents reported on their gender, training, practice type and location, leadership positions, years in practice and years at their current location, salary, research, and clinical productivity.


      Of the 307 surveys sent, 235 individuals responded, yielding a response rate of 76.5%. Pediatric physiatrists who identified as women were more likely to work part-time but were demographically similar to their colleagues who identified as men. The odds of having no leadership role were higher for women (odds ratio=2.17; P=.02) than men. Pediatric physiatrists who identified as men made on average (in US dollars ± SD) 244,798±52,906 annually compared with those who identified as women 224,497±60,756. The average annual difference in full-time salary was $20,311 in favor of those who identified as men (95% confidence interval, $3135-$37,486). The set of predictors in the multivariable model explained about 40% of the total variability in annual full-time salary (R2=0.389; adjusted R2=0.339; F15,197=7.734; P<.001). Gender was not a significant predictor in the model, but model prediction of the salaries of pediatric physiatrists who identified as men was better than model prediction of the salaries of those who identified as women.


      Despite representing a majority of the field, pediatric physiatrists who identified as women were paid less than their counterparts who identified as men. The traditional predictors associated with the salaries of men were not enough to explain salary variation among those who identified as women, thereby providing evidence of the importance of intangible and unmeasured aspects of a women’s career, such as bias and institutional culture.


      List of Abbreviations:

      FTE (full-time equivalent), PRM (pediatric rehabilitation medicine), RVU (relative value unit)
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