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    Sharper negotiation skills the key to reduce cardiologist pay gap

    Female cardiologists only make about 78.3% as much as their male counterparts, according to a recent study.  But despite this fact, a quick poll of women attending an American College of Cardiology (ACC) session on contract negotiating found that 59% would rather go to the dentist then negotiate a new contact.

    The Women in Cardiology (WIC) section-sponsored program, held April 2 during the 65th annual ACC Scientific Session & Expo in Chicago, presented findings from a recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology report which found that, in 2015, male cardiologists made $510,996 while their female counterparts made $400,162. After adjusting for variable hours and job duties, there was still a gender compensation gap of $37,717.

    “Negotiating has been one of the major challenges women need to deal with in their professional careers,” said Sandra Lewis, MD, of the Northwest Cardiovascular Institute in Portland, Oregon and section chair for WIC.

    Lewis cited another study which found that, when men with an MBA negotiate their salaries they receive 4.3% more in compensation compared to female counterparts who receive 2.7% more. Assuming a starting base of $50,000 and going forward over a 50-year career, Lewis said that initial bump will generate $1.7 million for men while women will get almost $700,000 less in their career.

    Woman often suffer from the “imposter syndrome,” in which they are unable to internalize their accomplishments and feel like they don’t deserve their success, Lewis said.


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