Is there equal pay in healthcare? Not if you are a doctor

Re: Is there equal pay in healthcare? Not if you are a doctor

27 September 2012

We applaud John Appleby’s editorial in the BMJ 18th Sep 2012, highlighting the gender pay gap between male and female doctors. The Medical Women’s Federation has shown this before in the joint BMA and MWF report (1) published in 2009 by Connolly and Holdcroft. We feel there is more work needed to analyse and determine why this gap persists and what measures are being put in place to ensure there is no gender difference in pay.

Medical Women’s Federation (MWF) encourages women doctors to negotiate and to take an active part in their job planning process. There is a real need for women to engage actively in their job planning and to ensure they can bring to the appraisal table all that they do in their job. It is inevitable that women doctors as mothers sometimes seek to work flexibly for part of their working career and therefore take home a lower wage. Nevertheless, when they go back to full time work there should be no pay disparity at junior doctor level. At Consultant, Specialty doctor and General Practitioner level we would encourage all women doctor to look hard at their working week and ensure that they are getting paid for the work they do. As a national nominating body for ACCEA (Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards) we encourage our Consultant members to apply for these awards and provide the support and mentoring they need.

We at MWF would like for more women to put themselves forward for senior positions in management, leadership and teaching roles to get just reward from their jobs and at the same time earn what they justly deserve.

1. Connolly S, Holdcroft A. The pay gap for women in medicine and academic medicine: an analysis of the WAM database. BMA, 2009.

Competing interests: Honorary Secretary Medical Women's Federation

Beryl De Souza, Honorary Secretary

Medical Women's Federation, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX

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