Assessment of Differences in Academic Rank and Salary by Gender and Race Among United States Academic Radiation Oncologists
Raldow A, Siker ML, Bonner JA, Chen Y, Liu FF, Metz JM, Movsas B, Potters L, Schultz CJ, Sanders T, Wang X, Steinberg ML, and Jagsi R. Assessment of Differences in Academic Rank and Salary by Gender and Race Among United States Academic Radiation Oncologists. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021; 111(3):e338-e339.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
Purpose/Objective(s): We sought to describe the academic radiation oncology workforce including any contemporary differences in salary and rank by sex and race/ethnicity.
Materials/Methods: We led a retrospective cohort study using data from the SCAROP 2018 Financial Survey, which included items related to department characteristics (region of country, institutional funding, and size), and physician demographics (position, full-time classification, physician-scientist classification, years of experience, years in the department, board certification status, gender, race/ethnicity, site of practice, academic rank, tenure track, degrees, and total salary). Total salary was defined as base compensation plus incentive bonus during the most recent fiscal year. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with associate or full professor rank. A full model was first fitted with main effects, as well as all the first-order pairwise interaction terms related to gender and race, respectively. Backward stepwise elimination of non-significant (threshold: P < 0.05) variables was performed to reach a final model. Salary was compared by gender and race/ethnicity overall and stratified by rank.
Results: The survey included data on 858 academic radiation oncologists (ROs) from 59 departments in the US. A third (33.2%) were female; 60.5% were white, 26.9% Asian and 12.7% under-represented minority (URM; by 2020 Census categories). There were 44.0% assistant professors, 32.0% associate professors, and 22.8% full professors. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that ROs practicing in the Midwest (OR 0.20 vs West; P < 0.01) or Northeast (OR 0.43 vs West; P = 0.02) or at an institution with 50+ faculty members (OR 1.84; P < 0.01) were less likely to be associate or full professors. ROs practicing at the main campus (OR 2.10; P < 0.01), with more years of experience (OR 0.44 0-4 vs 5-9 years; P < 0.01 and OR 6.41 20+ vs 5-9 years; P < 0.01), and with more years in the department (OR 0.10 0-4 vs 5-9 years; P < 0.01 and OR 3.53 20+ vs 5-9 years; P < 0.01) were more likely to be associate or full professors. Sex and race were not associated with associate or full professor rank. Overall, there were no significant differences in total salary between male and female instructors, assistant professors, and associate professors. However, male full professors had significantly higher mean salaries as compared to female full professors (10.4% higher; P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in total salary between white, Asian and URM instructors, assistant professors, or associate professors. However, white full professors had significantly higher mean salaries as compared to Asian (10.7% higher) and URM (11.8% higher) full professors (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: We found no differences in holding senior academic ranks in radiation oncology by gender or race but did find salary gaps by gender and race at the full professor level. Future work should continue to ensure equitable compensation.