In recent studies presented by Medscape and Doximity, women earn less than male physicians do. Gender gap remains unaddressed, considering the Equal Pay Act, which had been in place.
Since the 1960s.
It is surprising to learn that it has been more than 40 years since the regulation has been enacted, but why are women physicians still earning less?
Even in other professional occupations, women still get the short end of the stick. It’s more difficult for women of color. It is believed that men are predominant in medicine, but times have changed, and more women are getting into the field. The issue remains prevalent, and women physicians may need to learn how to negotiate for themselves.
In other industries, most women negotiate their compensation, but men get the raise. Yet, many experts encourage women to go for it. It’s about time women voice out their thoughts about their salaries, and men should recognize this issue as well.
In one of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s pieces in their “Women in Plastic Surgery”, negotiation is one of their topics. The authors go in depth as to why women find it difficult to negotiate, in addition they cite Babcock’s work in their research.
There are four reasons why women don’t ask (Fischer and Bajaj, 2016):
• Women dislike the very idea of negotiation
• Women deem it unnecessary
• Women feel they are undeserving
• Women find other females demanding if they ask
Simple points to remember
Know your worth
What have you done so far with the practice? How many of your patients have looked for and referred you. Consider the amount of time and the treatments you have done for your patients. Think about your value in the practice.
List your goals
Then ask yourself, “Why do I want to raise my salary?” Try to deviate from the talk of money, as the physician owner might think you’re in it only for that.
This is how you justify why you need a salary increase. Numbers could catch them off guard, so try to prepare some factual evidence of your experiences. If you kept track of what you have accomplished, that’s good! Present those as evidence as you negotiate.
Without this, how will you be able to negotiate on getting a raise? This factor is the most important as you will need this throughout the whole process. It’s about putting yourself out there and making your case.
Ready any question and answer
Think about any questions that the head physician or physician owner will ask you regarding your salary raise. Prepare any answers in advance. Make sure you’re ready before your dialogue.
If it falls out, try another time. Ask them what could be in store for you in the future, as you work harder to grow the practice together. Don’t give up just because you’ve been shot down, it’s all a matter of gathering important data and gaining experience that would help you with your case.