“Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Bias in Evaluations of Female Resident Physicians”-Esther K. Choo, MD, MPH

Journal Club Entry by Sarah Couser, TUSM-Maine Track Program, M18

For 20 years, medical schools have been accepting almost the same number of male and female students. Despite this important achievement, there remains significant gender bias when it comes to training female students and future physicians. The author of this paper discusses a recent study that identified gender bias in the evaluation of male and female third-year emergency residents. The study concludes that female residents receive “discordant feedback” regarding issues of autonomy and assertiveness, characteristically male traits. Esther Choo reflects on how this conflicting information may prevent female residents them from improving clinically.

To reference the study, please refer to this link:

“Gender Differences in Attending Physicians’ Feedback to Residents: A Qualitative Analysis”

Anna S. Mueller, Tania M. Jenkins, Melissa Osborne, Arjun Dayal, Daniel M. O’Connor, and Vineet M. Arora

Discussion questions:

1. Mueller et al. note that women only represent 38% of EM residents across the country. At Maine

Medical Center, women represent approximately ~36% of EM residents (10/28). Do you notice any

distinct differences regarding gender in your own department?

2. Can you think of any instances of gender bias in your workplace? Can you think of a situation in which

you might have been susceptible to bias?

3. What can you do to try and counteract implicit gender bias in the workplace? What can we be more

mindful of?

Are you interesting in learning if you have any implicit biases?

Take the quiz here:


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