Purpose: Previous studies have found gender bias in the global evaluations of trainees. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of faculty and residents’ gender on the evaluation of residents’ specific clinical skills, using direct observation.
Method: In 2001–2002, 40 clinician–educators from 16 internal medicine residency programs viewed a series of nine scripted videotapes depicting varying levels of residents’ clinical performance in medical interviewing, physical examination, and counseling. Differences in the ratings of women versus men faculty, in relation to differences in the residents’ gender, were compared using random-effects regression analysis.
Results: There were no statistically or educationally significant differences in the rating of clinical skills attributable to faculty or residents’ gender for medical interviewing, physical examination, or counseling.
Conclusions: This study suggests that gender bias may be less prevalent in the current era of evaluation of clinical skills, particularly when specific skills are directly observed by faculty. Further work is needed to examine whether the findings of this study translate to the actual training setting.