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The Association of Faculty and Residents’ Gender on Faculty Evaluations of Internal Medicine Residents in 16 Residencies

Holmboe, Eric S. MD; Huot, Stephen J. MD, PhD; Brienza, Rebecca S. MD, MPH; Hawkins, Richard E. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181971c6d
Gender Issues

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.

Dr. Holmboe is senior vice president for quality research and academic affairs, American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and professor adjunct, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Huot is professor, Department of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and program director, Yale Primary Care Residency Program, New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Brienza was formally clinic director, Norwalk Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program, Norwalk, Connecticut.

Dr. Hawkins is vice president, Assessment Programs, National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Holmboe, American Board of Internal Medicine, 510 Walnut Street, Suite 1700, Philadelphia, PA 19160; telephone: (215) 446-3606; fax: (215) 446-3633; e-mail: (

© 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges