Race and gender differences in general internists' annual incomes

J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Nov;21(11):1167-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00592.x. Epub 2006 Aug 9.


Background: Specialty, work effort, and female gender have been shown to be associated with physicians' annual incomes; however, racial differences in physician incomes have not been examined.

Objective: To determine the influence of race and gender on General Internists' annual incomes after controlling for work effort, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics.

Design: Retrospective survey-weighted analysis of survey data.

Participants: One thousand seven hundred and forty-eight actively practicing General Internists who responded to the American Medical Association's annual survey of physicians between 1992 and 2001.

Measurements: Work effort, provider and practice characteristics, and adjusted annual incomes for white male, black male, white female, and black female General Internists.

Results: Compared with white males, white females completed 22% fewer patient visits and worked 12.5% fewer hours, while black males and females reported completing 17% and 2.8% more visits and worked 15% and 5.5% more annual hours, respectively. After adjustment for work effort, provider characteristics, and practice characteristics, black males' mean annual income was 188,831 dollars or 7,193 dollars (4%) lower than that for white males (95% CI: -31,054 dollars, 16,669 dollars; P=.6); white females' was 159,415 dollars or 36,609 dollars (19%) lower (95% CI: -25,585 dollars, -47,633 dollars; P<.001); and black females' was 139,572 dollars or 56,452 dollars (29%) lower (95% CI: -93,383 dollars, -19,520 dollars; P=.003).

Conclusions: During the 1990s, both black race and female gender were associated with lower annual incomes among General Internists. Differences for females were substantial. These findings warrant further exploration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blacks*
  • Data Collection / economics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income* / trends
  • Internal Medicine / economics*
  • Male
  • Physicians / economics*
  • Physicians, Family / economics*
  • Racial Groups*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • United States
  • Whites*