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Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Oct;126 Suppl 4:7S-12S. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001044.

Gender Bias in Nurse Evaluations of Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Author information

1
Mountain Area Health Education Center, Inc., Asheville, North Carolina.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examined the evaluations given by nurses to obstetrics and gynecology residents to estimate whether gender bias was evident.

BACKGROUND:

Women receive more negative feedback and evaluations than men-from both sexes. Some suggest that, to be successful in traditionally male roles such as surgeon, women must manifest a warmth-related (communal) rather than competence-related (agentic) demeanor. Compared with male residents, female residents experience more interpersonal difficulties and less help from female nurses. We examined feedback provided to residents by female nurses.

METHODS:

We examined Professional Associate Questionnaires (2006-2014) using a mixed-methods design. We compared scores per training year by gender using Mann-Whitney and linear regression adjusting for resident and nurse cohorts. Using grounded theory analysis, we developed a coding system for blinded comments based on principles of effective feedback, medical learners' evaluation, and impression management. χ examined the proportions of negative and positive and communal and agentic comments between genders.

RESULTS:

We examined 2,202 evaluations: 397 (18%) for 10 men and 1,805 (82%) for 34 women. Twenty-three compliments (eg, "Great resident!") were excluded. Evaluations per training year varied: men n=77-134; women n=384-482. Postgraduate year (PGY)-1, PGY-2, and PGY-4 women had lower mean ratings (P<.035); when adjusted, the difference remained significant in PGY-2 (MWomen=1.5±0.6 compared with MMen=1.7±0.5; P=.001). Postgraduate year-1 women received disproportionately fewer positive and more negative agentic comments than PGY-1 men (positive=17.3% compared with 40%, negative=17.3% compared with 3.3%, respectively; P=.041).

CONCLUSION:

Evidence of gender bias in evaluations emerged; albeit subtle, women received harsher feedback as lower-level residents than men. Training in effective evaluation and gender bias management is warranted.

PMID:
26375558
DOI:
10.1097/AOG.0000000000001044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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