The widening pay gap cannot be attributed to the specialty they choose because the researchers controlled for that aspect. Even when they account for specialty and hours and other factors, the gap remains. The same gap exists for women in primary care as in other specialties. Female heart surgeons were paid $27,103 less than males. Female ENT doctors made $32,207 less than male doctors. The women who specialized in pulmonary disease made a shocking $44,320 less than their male counterparts.
What about practice location? It didn't matter...women were paid less than men. Could it be that they work less hours? Nope, even with the same hours, women were paid less than men.
We can only speculate why this is happening. The most obvious answer is; "Yes, there truly is gender pay discrimination." No-one really wants to consider that or admit it but the facts seems to speak for themselves. Other considerations are that women fail to negotiate salaries as well as men. That is a skill most women do not develop and most starting salaries are negotiated within a certain range. Women may just accept the first (low-ball) offer made, while their male counterparts would hold out for more.
I will be the first to admit that women have come a long way. But this study is disheartening and shows we may be heading back in the wrong direction.