Defining an Injustice

This past week in our weekly responses we were asked to describe an injustice that had not been brought up in class.  As Dr.Barnidge brought up many students focused on education injustices.  As I took a look back over my class notes I realized that many of the injustices acd discussion centered around those with lower incomes receiving less than areas and people who had higher incomes. This is a very valid point to be debated, as most of public health is focused on increasing the health of the under served, of which is frequently those who are of lower socioeconomic status.

This recent article in the New York Times discusses a different kind of injustice in the health care field.  In this article the New York Times reports on the growing gap between the salaries of male and female doctors.  My knowledge  always had me under the impression that the gap between male and female compensation was decreasing every year, showing that we were indeed making giant steps toward equal compensation.  However, for those of you pursuing a medical career, you may just the opposite, as this article informs us.

I was simply amazed by the growing gap between male and female physicians, jumping from roughly $4000 to over $16000 in less than a decade.  As someone not pursuing a career as a physician I found myself asking if this was truly an injustice?  While in many other contexts I would be appalled at the statistics on the compensation differences between genders, instead I was questioning the validity of such an injustice.  So many times in our discussion of public health injustices we are confronted with fighting for the rights of those who do not have very much.  However, here this article is showing a clear gender injustice, and I was questioning it.

Much of my question revolved around the idea of  how much money physicians were reported to make on average.  In the article, women weighed in around$175,000 while male physicians made around $210,000.  When physicians are making well over $100,000, is a gender compensation gap really an injustice?  I found myself back at the discussion in the classroom, wondering who defines what an injustice is, and when a situation can indeed be deemed an injustice.

I found my personal answer to be affirmative, and I still believe that an injustice is taking place despite the large incomes.  In my mind, the issue is not about the amount being made, but rather the large and increasing difference in salaries between men and women.  I challenge you to do some thinking, and share whether or not you believe this situation is an injustice.


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