Gender Disparities in Physician Assistant Educator Promotion and Compensation: A Mixed Methods Approach

Rayne Loder, Jennifer Coombs, Shahpar Najmabadi, Trenton Henry, Darin Ryujin, Virginia Valentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


IntroductionThe gender wage gap is well documented in many industries. A disparity in salary between female and male physician assistant (PA) educators has been demonstrated, but disparities in academic rank have not been shown. The purpose of this study was to re-examine gender disparities in compensation to PA educators and to explore whether gender-based disparities exist in promotion to higher academic rank in this field.MethodsAn explanatory sequential mixed-methods design was used to determine differences in salary and rank by gender. PA Education Association Faculty and Directors Survey data from 2014, 2017, and 2019 were analyzed. A focus group was conducted to explain the findings and understand the barriers to promotion for female faculty.ResultsFemale PA faculty members earn $7573 less than their male colleagues when controlling for all other variables. Female faculty members have an increased likelihood (RR 1.150) for being in early career stage versus late career stage. Obtaining a doctoral degree decreased the risk for being in an early career stage (RR 0.567) with men twice as likely to have a doctoral degree as women.DiscussionRank and salary disparities exist in PA faculty by gender. Female faculty are less likely to hold doctoral degrees or to be promoted to higher academic ranks, and they earn less than men. Degree level and career track are themes unique to the PA education profession, and further research is needed to understand their impact. With more women entering PA education, pay equity and promotion need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription


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