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Dorsey J K; Colliver, J A
Academic Medicine: April 1995
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BACKGROUND. Concerns about potential bias in the grading of medical students at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine led to a major institutional policy change whereby students' identities were masked during the test-grading process. The present study assessed the effect of this anonymous test grading policy by comparing the performance of men and women students and of white and African American students prior to and after adoption of the policy change. METHOD. A test-passing rate was determined for each of 476 freshmen students in the comparison groups from the eight classes of 1988 through 1995. Mean test-passing rates for the four student cohorts prior to policy implementation (19881991) were compared with mean passing rates after the policy was implemented (19921995). RESULTS. The pre-post change in the mean test-passing rate of men was not significantly different from the pre-post change of women, and a nonsignificant effect was also found when the pre-post change in the mean test-passing rate of white students was compared with that of African American students. No significant pre-post change was found for white men, white women, African American men, or African American women. CONCLUSION. The results showed no effect of the anonymous test-grading policy, which suggests that there was no widespread gender or racial bias in the grading of freshman medical students before the change in institutional grading policy.

Created Date: 25 May 1995; Completed Date: 25 May 1995; Revised Date: 18 December 2000

© 1995 Association of American Medical Colleges