Sex-based differences in income and response to proposed financial incentives among general practitioners in France
Women represent a growing proportion of the physician workforce, worldwide. Therefore, for the purposes of workforce planning, it is increasingly important to understand differences in how male and female physicians work and might respond to financial incentives. A recent survey allowed us to determine whether sex-based differences in either physician income or responses to a hypothetical increase in reimbursement exist among French General Practitioners (GPs). Our analysis of 828 male and 244 female GPs’ responses showed that females earned 35% less per year from medical practice than their male counterparts. After adjusting for the fact that female GPs had practiced medicine fewer years, worked 11% fewer hours per year, and spent more time with each consultation, female GPs earned 11,194€, or 20.6%, less per year (95% CI: 7085€–15,302€ less per year). Male GPs were more likely than female GPs to indicate that they would work fewer hours if consultation fees were to be increased. Our findings suggest that, as the feminization of medicine increases, the need to address gender-based income disparities increases and the tools that French policymakers use to regulate the physician supply might need to change.
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