Canada’s federal Liberal government has promised to eliminate pay inequity. But can they?
Within the medical field, is it discrimination based on gender or is the pay difference attributed to another element?
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Article 15 deals with the right to equality.
Marginal note:Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
No where is pay inequity more prevalent than medicine.
“Medicine has a major gender wage gap, and recent data suggest practice styles, specialty choices and discrimination all factor into the discrepancy.
Women currently make up 41% of practicing physicians in Canada, but only a small minority of top-billing doctors. In 2016, the Ontario government released data that showed 506 doctors billed the province more than $1 million in the previous year; only 8% were women. Likewise, in British Columbia, women made up less than 10% of doctors who billed more than $1 million.”
Why are female medical doctors paid less than their male counterparts?
“Women generally work fewer hours than men per week. Women aren’t as well represented in the higher-billing specialties. Women might see fewer patients per day because they’re spending more time with their patients.”
Is it billing hours as the CMA implies or is it, as one noted Child Pediatrician believes, some specialties are less regarded by society than others, referring to her own where children may be at the bottom of unspoken patient classification?
Her colleague, Dr. Laura offers this, “All the issues the article brings up sound true to me. In pediatrics we are one of the lowest paid specialty, but I don’t think it’s because we’re female dominated…instead I think it’s because society “values” kids less and they’ve always figured that people who want to work with kids don’t do it for the money! But now that it’s more female dominated I wonder if remuneration will decrease further in relation to other specialties.”
Almost 50% of Canadian family physicians are female. “In 2017, 45% of family doctors in Canada were women, compared to 39.6% of other medical specialists and 28.4% of surgical specialists, according to CMA.”
Is it, as Dr. Charissa Patricelli, a family doctor in Vancouver, claims, “Family medicine is becoming a more female profession and society doesn’t value the contribution of women as much as men.”
In moving to a new community our family was in need of a primary care physician. We chose a Nurse Practitioner who, in the first visit, spent 90 minutes with a family member who suffers from a debilitating disease. That time was invaluable. For the first time in the disease’s development, she has complete care which has slowed the disease’s progress.
We suspect our NP was only able to bill for twenty minutes.
Since when is testosterone necessary to be a medical doctor? When is it necessary for any career?
“Dr. Lesley Barron, a surgeon in Georgetown, Ont., thinks discrimination is at play. “Programs are worried about maternity leave in addition to all the usual gender bias,” including the perception that women are less competent, she says. “Surgical programs are largely run by men and, in my experience, men prefer to work with men.”