Gender bias in the evaluation of interns in different medical specialties: An archival study

Roy Adar, Rotem Kahalon, Johannes Ullrich, Arnon Afek, Vered H. Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The field of medicine is characterized by within-field gender segregation: Gender ratios vary systematically by subdisciplines. This segregation might be, in part, due to gender bias in the assessment of women and men medical doctors. Methods: We examined whether the assessments, i.e. overall score, department scores and skills scores, interns receive by their superiors during their internship year, vary as a function of their gender and the representation of women in the field. We analyzed an archival data set from a large hospital in Israel which included 3326 assessments that were given to all interns who completed their internship year between 2015 and 2019. Results: Women received lower department scores and skills scores in fields with a low (versus high) representation of women. Men received higher scores in fields with a high (versus low) representation of men, yet there was no difference in their skills scores. Conclusions: Women are evaluated more negatively in fields with a low representation of women doctors. Similarly, men are evaluated more negatively in fields with a low representation of men, yet this cannot be explained by their skills. This pattern of results might point to a gender bias in assessments. A better understanding of these differences is important as assessments affect interns’ career choices and options.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Teacher
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender bias
  • Gender differences
  • career choice
  • resident selection
  • trainee selection
  • women in surgery

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