Gender Bias In The General Surgery Residency Interview Process
*Sargampreet Kaur, *Motaz Al Yafi, *Abdullah Nasif, *Gang Ren, Munier Nazzal
University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Residency interviews are vital measures of an applicant’s potential at a residency training program. Despite measures to standardize interviews, unconscious biases still occur. The objective of this is study is to determine if gender is a source of bias in the general surgery residency interview process.
We performed a retrospective analysis of general surgery resident applicants interviewed in 2018 and 2019 at an academic institution. Scoring sheets completed by evaluators during interviews and demographics of the applicants and evaluators were collected and analyzed.
The interview scores of 119 applicants (61% male) were analyzed. 73 male and 46 female applicants were interviewed. Each applicant was interviewed by 5-6 faculty members and received a score from 0-4 from each faculty member. Faculty evaluators consisted of 32 males and 5 females, and there was no difference in the number of interviews conducted by each evaluator. There were differences in the interview scores when separated by applicant gender. Female applicants scored 0.19 points higher than male applicants (p-value = 0.014), despite male applicants scoring 6.5 points higher on USMLE Step 1 (p-value = 0.028). Furthermore, male faculty scored female applicants 0.17 higher than male applicants (p-value = 0.043).
Gender bias in the general surgery residency interviews does exist. Female applicants receive higher interview scores than male applicants with similar or better objective test scores. While this trend potentially improves the number of female surgery residents, implementing tools to help faculty evaluate applicants without gender bias is needed.
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