Katie Couric's Notebook: Doctors' Pay

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric
CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric.

Quick test: If someone refers to "Dr. Smith," do you automatically picture a man?

For some people, that bias is hard to shake - even though roughly a third of doctors are women.

But that's not the only bias in medicine. 

A recent study found that newly minted female doctors earn an average of $17,000 less than their male counterparts. And here's a surprise that gap has actually widened by $13,000 since 1999.

Historically, women have gravitated toward lower-paying specialties, like pediatrics and some reduce their hours for child-rearing.

But the study's authors controlled for those factors, and found that even women in lucrative specialties like cardiology are making thousands less than men in their fields.

Whatever is causing this ailment, it's time for a cure. Even if Dr. Smith does turn out to be a man, he shouldn't be paid more because of it.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.