Gender Disparity In 2013-2018: Industry Payments To Plastic Surgeons
Meredith G. Moore, BS, Kyle Singerman, William J. Kitzmiller, MD, Ryan M. Gobble, MD.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
PURPOSE: The gender pay gap in medicine has been under intense scrutiny in recent years; female plastic surgeons reportedly earn 11% less than their male peers. "Hidden" compensation publicly reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act may exacerbate gender wage gaps. We seek to reveal the sex distribution of industry payments to board-certified plastic surgeons across all years covered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payment Database (CMS OPD).
METHODS: We obtained the National Provider Identifier (NPI) for each surgeon in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) member directory to record gender, then matched surgeons to CMS OPD Physician Profile ID numbers. "General Payments" data points from annual files for all years present in the CMS OPD, 2013-2018, were aggregated and joined to provider details by Physician Profile ID and quantitative analysis was performed.
RESULTS: Of 4,840 ASPS surgeons, 4,063 (83.9%) male and 781 (16.1%) female, 3,864 (79.8%) reporting ≥1 industry payment were included with 3,220 male (83.3%) and 644 female (16.7%). Over 2013-2018, female plastic surgeons received mean 56.01 (± S.E.M. 2.51) payments totaling $11,530.67 (±$1,461.45) each versus 65.70 (± 1.80) payments totaling $25,469.05 (±5,412.60) for males. For each individual year, the ratio of male to female payments in dollars was 2.36 in 2013, 2.69 in 2014, 2.53 in 2015, 2.31 in 2016, 1.72 in 2017, and most recently 1.96 in 2018.
CONCLUSION: During the six years of recorded Open Payments data to US physicians, male plastic surgeons have received payments from industry on average amounting to greater than twice the payment dollars given to each female surgeon recipient. Male plastic surgeons receive both higher frequency and greater individual value transfer amounts from medical companies. Payment inequity slightly declined for 2017-2018 vs. 2013-2016. Gender-based discrepancies expose compensation disparity not captured by traditional wage gap estimations and may uncover industry engagement gender preferences.
|Gender||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2013-18||2013-18 Per Payment Mean|
|Female (F)||$ 963.45||$ 1,641.99||$ 1,870.36||$ 2,220.68||$ 2,319.97||$ 2,514.21||$ 11,530.67||$ 205.85|
|Male (M)||$ 2,272.83||$ 4,409.40||$ 4,726.84||$ 5,134.25||$ 3,995.04||$ 4,930.69||$ 25,469.05||$ 387.68|
|M:F Payment Ratio||2.36||2.69||2.53||2.31||1.72||1.96||2.21||1.88|
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