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Shining a Light on the Incidence of Gender Bias and Gendered Expectations in Resident Teaching Evaluations

Purpose: Resident teaching performance evaluations completed by medical students are widely used for professional advancement. Eight years of resident teaching performance evaluations were analyzed to determine prevalence of gender bias and gendered expectations.

Background: Historically, women receive more negative feedback based on “agentic,” or competence-based demeanor: independence, assertiveness, and leadership, rather than “communal,” or warmth-based demeanor: cooperation, nurturing, and sensitivity. Female physicians in male-dominated surgical specialties may not adhere to gendered expectations and perceived less-favorably.

From 2010 to 2018, teaching performance evaluations for 83 resident physicians (12 males) were completed by third-year medical students. The evaluation tool is institutionally validated and used by all third-year clerkships. Written feedback was de-identified of resident name and gendered pronouns to prevent coding bias. Content analysis determined agentic/communal comments with either positive/negative connotations. A coding structure informed by literature was used: teaching skill, character/professionalism, leadership, and clinical knowledge/clinical skills. Frequency was measured by the number of times words were used and whether those fit the agentic, positive/negative categories and communal positive/negative categories.

Results: Analysis included 3,8582 evaluations. Teaching evaluations of male residents(N&#3f469) included more positive, communal-based comments. Female resident physicians received more negative communal-based comments(N&#3f3113). Notable terms describing female residents: caustic, harsh, poisonous, intimidating, and cold - none of which were used to describe the male residents. Male residents were more frequently described as: mentor, humorous, and fun.

Medical students complete teaching performance evaluations that may affect career advancement and long-term well-being. Anti-bias education and analysis of written feedback bring awareness to incidence of potential gender bias.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Professionalism, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, CME, UME, Assessment, Advocacy, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Cindy Vu, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin; Rahmouna Farez, MD; Kristina Kaljo, PhD

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