A new pay survey among doctors working in top U.S. medical schools has uncovered a major gender divide between who gets paid the most in the health care industry. According to a recent analysis by JAMA Internal Medicine, female doctors make, on average, $20,000 less per year than their male colleagues, Time reports.


The latest analysis included data on nearly 10,000 physician faculty members at 24 medical schools across the United States, including big names such as Harvard Medical School, the University of North Carolina and Massachusetts General Hospital. After adjusting for several factors that can affect a doctor’s pay, such as years of experience, specialty, age and number of papers published, researchers found that male docs can still expect to earn an average of 8 percent more than their female counterparts in this country.


“This study puts the nail in the coffin by assessing every possible reason for why males may have greater earnings than females,” said Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the new study. He also noted that without the previously mentioned adjustments, the pay gap is even more drastic. Female physicians make about $50,000 less per year, on average, than their male counterparts.


Jena suggested that a combination of three factors could help explain the salary disparity. First, women tend to negotiate less aggressively than men for salaries; second, females are less likely than their male colleagues to solicit outside job offers to seek raises from their employers; and third, conscious or subconscious gender-based discrimination still regularly occurs in the health care industry.


That said, differences in earning power based on gender aren’t the only source of glaring salary discrepancies in the U.S. health care industry. According to another recent study by the same Harvard researchers, black doctors make nearly $60,000 less per year, on average, than their white counterparts.


For more information about racial bias in the U.S. health care system, click here.