Why female GPs earn less… and what you can do about it
- On 22/11/2016
The gender pay gap in general practice amounts to $21,000 a year on average for female GPs.
BEACH data suggest female GPs earn $11 less an hour in gross billable Medicare encounters than male GPs.
The research, which was released in June 2016, found that the full-time male GP earns $353,280, while a full-time female GP earns on average $332,160 – about $21,000 less a year.
While male GPs generally work longer hours, it was found the female doctors typically spend longer with each patient.
On average, female GPs spend almost a full minute longer in a standard consult, with their average level B appointment taking 13.2 minutes compared with 12.5 minutes for a male GP.
It takes female GPs approximately 28.5 hours to complete 100 encounters, compared to 25.3 hours for male GPs.
So what can female GPs do to bridge this gap? Practice manager, Cathy Baynie, says the key is not to make emotive decisions at the time of the consult.
“Ensure you have well developed billing systems that reflect the value you and your team place on your skills. Develop these systems after consultation with your colleagues and team members, benchmarking with equivalent professionals in your area and examination of business and personal requirements. Study your current billing trends and identify what your revenue goals are – review if you are reaching your targets and if not, why not.
Ms Baynie adds that your billing systems can be flexible to allow movement through a range of price points that will meet the needs of the health community in which you are working.
She urges female GPs to use practice software systems to communicate to your front desk staff what the billing is for each consult – remain in your consult room long enough to allow your staff to act on your instructions.
“It is essential that your staff well trained to know what is expected of them and what the process is should any billing be queried by patients. Essentially put space between the clinical and financial component of a consult – distance yourself from the billing process.”
Are you too close to the billing process?
Learning how to get some healthy distance can help you better meet the needs of your community.