Gender Gap Found in Evaluations of Emergency Medicine Residents

Similar milestone levels among residents during 1st year, but higher levels for men throughout residency

patient on a stretcher

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of milestone attainment is higher for male than female residents throughout training across all emergency medicine (EM) subcompetencies, according to a study published online March 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Arjun Dayal, from the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted a multicenter, longitudinal, retrospective cohort study at eight community and academic EM training programs. The authors examined 33,456 direct-observation subcompetency evaluations of 359 EM residents by 285 faculty members.

The researchers found that during the first year of residency, female and male residents achieved similar milestone levels. Through all of residency, the rate of milestone attainment was 12.7 percent higher for male residents. Men scored approximately 0.15 milestone levels higher than women by graduation, which was equivalent to three to four months of extra training based on the model of an average resident gaining approximately 0.52 levels per year. There were no statistically significant differences in scores based on the gender of the faculty evaluator or evaluator-evaluatee gender pairing.

"Although the specific factors that drive these outcomes remain to be determined, this study highlights the need to be cognizant of gender bias and the necessity of further research in this area," the authors write.

Two authors reported codeveloping InstantEval, which was used to obtain the evaluation data used in the study.

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