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BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jan 7;19(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1440-7.

Effects of gender in resident evaluations and certifying examination pass rates.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX, 75390-8830, USA. Melanie.Sulistio@UTSouthwestern.edu.
2
Division of Cardiology, Dallas, USA. Melanie.Sulistio@UTSouthwestern.edu.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX, 75390-8830, USA.
4
Division of Cardiology, Dallas, USA.
5
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
6
Department of Clinical Sciences, Dallas, USA.
7
American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Though the proportion of female Internal Medicine (IM) residents and faculty has increased, there is minimal large scale modern data comparing resident performance by gender. This study sought to examine the effects of resident and faculty gender on resident evaluations.

METHODS:

Retrospective observational study over 5 years in a single IM program. IM certifying examination pass rates were obtained from the American Board of IM.

RESULTS:

Four hundred eighty-eight residents (195 women, 293 men), evaluated by 430 attending physicians (163 women, 270 men) were included. Twelve thousand six hundred eighty-one evaluations between 2007 and 2012 were analyzed. Female residents scored higher in two domains (Medical Interviewing, and Interpersonal and Communication Skills) (p < 0.01 for each), with no significant difference between genders for the other domains (Medical Knowledge, Overall Patient Care, Physical Examination, Procedural Skills, Professionalism, Practice Based Learning and Improvement, System Based Practices and Overall score). There were no differences in scoring between female and male attending physicians. There were no differences in certifying examination scores between women and men among graduating residents. National pass rates for women were not statistically different to pass rates for men from 1987 to 2015.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data from one large academic medical center demonstrate higher ratings for female residents on performance domains reflecting bedside care and interpersonal skills, with similar scores for medical knowledge and remaining domains. No significant difference was seen locally in certifying examination scores, nor in recent national pass rates, an objective measure of medical knowledge. Despite imbalanced female representation in areas of medicine, our data suggest that gender-based disparities in Internal Medicine resident medical knowledge and physician competency are no longer present.

KEYWORDS:

Certification exam; Gender; Medical education; Resident evaluations

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