Public Release: 

ACP calls for elimination of physician compensation disparities

Internists recommend a comprehensive strategy for achieving equitable pay in medicine

American College of Physicians

Washington (December 11, 2017)-- In a new position statement on Compensation Equity and Transparency in the Field of Medicine, the American College of Physicians (ACP) asserts that physicians should receive equitable compensation based on comparable work and compensation should not vary based on characteristics of personal identity.

"Physicians, like those in other professions, should be assured that their work is being valued equally," said Jack Ende, MD, MACP, president, ACP. "Salary and compensation should never be negatively impacted by a physician's personal characteristics, including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and gender identity."

Ample research and background evidence gathered in the development of the position statement demonstrates that gender, race, sexual orientation and gender identity all impact compensation. Moreover, the evidence indicates that having multiple, different personal characteristics compounds compensation disparity. ACP believes that physician compensation (including pay, benefits, clinical and administrative support, and institutional responsibilities), should be equitable; based on comparable work at each stage of their professional careers in accordance with their skills, knowledge, competencies, and expertise.

In addition, ACP calls for transparency around physician compensation arrangements to ensure that physicians regardless of characteristics of personal identity are paid equitably for comparable work. ACP supports the study, development, promotion, and implementation of policies and salary reporting practices that reduce pay disparities and bring transparency to physician salaries in a manner that protects the personal privacy of individual physicians and calls for further research to identify the adverse effects that personal identity have on physician pay and any subsequent impact on physician well-being and burnout, and the strength of the medical workforce.

"By issuing recommendations around the important issues surrounding equitable compensation without regard to personal characteristics ACP hopes to bring awareness to this issue and to start an important national dialogue that creates a culture within medicine at large in which all physicians are paid equitably" said Susan Thompson Hinge, MD, FACP, Chair of ACP's Board of Regents. "This is especially important to female, and other under-represented minority physicians, who historically and currently have seen their contributions undervalued because of who they are, not on what we contribute to patient care."


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