The Biggest Barriers and Biases Impacting Pay Equality w/Bonnie Koo

podcast Mar 18, 2021

The law states that male and female physicians should be earning the same, but time and time again, the data has proven that this is not the case. Unfair pay structures and circumstances impact female doctors, and they all add up to an uphill battle for equal pay. 

It’s not just that female physicians are earning less generally. 

The specialties we dominate are paid less. We are funneled away from the higher-paying specialties. There also aren’t enough women in leadership advocating for equal pay, and we’re conditioned not to rock the boat. 

When it comes to getting paid what we’re worth, there are biases and barriers that are layered in at every step of the process.

How do leadership structures get in the way of advocacy? What are some of the societal structures we are battling? What can we do to empower ourselves? 

In this episode, I’m joined by certified life coach, physician, and founder of Wealthy Mom MD, Bonnie Koo. We discuss some of the key issues that play into the gender pay gap. 

Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode 

  • The specialty pay gap 
    There are some fields that are more associated with women than others. Those specialties not only earn less, but the female physicians within those fields earn less than their male counterparts. Not only are women being pushed into certain specialties, but once they enter those fields and become the majority, the pay in those fields also drops considerably. 

  • Why female leaders in medicine are so important 
    Data shows that if there’s one woman in a group of men, she often doesn’t speak up. If you have a token woman at the leadership table, and she’s uncomfortable speaking up, she’s not going to feel open to share her thoughts and impact the conversation. If women in leadership have no voice, their presence is more about optics than actual progress. 

  • How the pay gap robs female physicians on two fronts 
    Closing the gender pay gap isn’t just about making things equal going forward. An equally devastating issue is making up for the lost potential and lost earnings from not earning what we’re worth in the past. The past is even harder to fix and mitigate, and very often women don’t have the resources to fight back and correct it. 


Guest Bio 

Bonnie Koo, MD is a certified life coach, physician, and founder of Wealthy Mom MD. She is a proud graduate of Barnard College and Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons. Her mission is to help women create wealth and rewrite history. 

Bonnie is the host of the Wealthy Mom MD Podcast and author of Defining Wealth for Women: (n.) Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash! debuting Fall 2021.

For more information visit and follow @wealthymommd on Instagram.


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