Women Make More Money As PA Than MD

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (UPI) — If women’s primary motivation is money, they should forget becoming a primary care physician and become a physician’s assistant instead, U.S. researchers say.

Study authors M. Keith Chen and Judith Chevalier of the Yale School of Management used data from thousands of doctors and physician’s assistants — wages and hours worked for males and females in both professions — collected by the Robert Wood Johnson Community Tracking Physician Survey and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Capital, found a wage gap; female doctors earned a lower hourly wage than male doctors, but also most women doctors didn’t work enough hours to make their expensive training pay off compared with working as a physician’s assistant.

Early in their careers, male and female doctors work similar hours, but once women reach ages 31-35, they have children and their hours drop from 50 hours a week to 40 hours a week through age 55, the researchers said.

The net present value of becoming a doctor for the median man was about $2.3 million, while the value of becoming a physician’s assistant was about $1.9 million. However, for the median woman, becoming a doctor offered no such advantage. The net present value for women of becoming a doctor was about $1.67 million, while the net present value of becoming physician’s assistant was $1.68 million, the study said.

Net present value is a calculation used to determine if the gains from a long-term venture are worth the costs.

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