Salary Negotiations: Gender Differences in Attitudes, Priorities, and Behaviors of Ophthalmologists

Shefali Sood, Alcina K. Lidder, Ceyhun Elgin, Janice C. Law, Aakriti Garg Shukla, Bryan J. Winn, Albert S. Khouri, Eydie G. Miller-Ellis, John Laudi, Jeffrey R. SooHoo, Eva DeVience, Misha F. Syed, Allen Zerkin, Lama A. Al-Aswad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate attitudes, priorities, and behaviors of ophthalmologists in salary negotiations. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: A Qualtrics survey was disseminated to U.S.-based practicing ophthalmologists between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 and assessed attitudes, behaviors, and priorities surrounding salary negotiation during the respondents’ first negotiation as a practicing physician and currently. Optional case-based scenarios were also included. Results: Of 424 respondents, 155 (36.5%) identified as male (M) and 269 (63.3%) identified as female (F). Men were more likely to negotiate salary for their first position as an independent ophthalmologist (M 78.3%, F 68.2%; P =.04). Respondents of both genders assessed their success similarly; 85.0% of men and 75.7% of women (P =.07) felt that their negotiation was very successful or somewhat successful. Women were more likely to select “flexibility in clinic/OR schedule for personal commitments” as a priority during salary negation for their first position (M 14.8%, F 23.1%; P =.04). Women ophthalmologists reported feeling more uncomfortable (M 36.1%, F 49.1%; P =.01), intimidated (M 20.0%, F 43.5%; P <.01), and were less likely to feel well-trained (M 24.5%, F 13.0%; P <.01). Most respondents never received formal training in negotiation. Conclusions: We found significant gender differences among ophthalmologists in attitudes, priorities and behaviors surrounding salary negotiation. There were low reported levels of formal negotiation training, which appears to disadvantage women more than men. These gender disparities suggest that incorporating education about negotiation skills and career development early in training may be impactful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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