Comparison of Performance Score for Female and Male Residents in General Surgery Doing Supervised Real-Life Laparoscopic Appendectomy: Is There a Norse Shield-Maiden Effect?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWorld Journal of Surgery. 2021, 45, 997-1005. 10.1007/s00268-020-05921-4
Background Gender bias may represent a threat to resident assessment during surgical training, and there have been concerns that women might be disadvantaged. There is a lack of studies investigating gender differences in ‘entry-level’ real-life procedures, such as laparoscopic appendectomy. We aimed to explore potential gender disparities in self-evaluation and faculty evaluation of a basic surgical procedure performed by junior surgical residents in general surgery. Methods A structured training program in laparoscopic appendectomy was implemented before undertaking evaluation of real-life consecutive laparoscopic appendectomies by junior residents in general surgery. Resident and faculty gender-pairs were assessed. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated using a single-rater, consistency, 2-way mixed-effects model. Results A total of 165 paired sessions were completed to evaluate resident–faculty scores for the procedure. Overall, 19 residents participated (43% women) and 26 faculty (42% women) were involved. The overall correlation between faculty and residents was good (ICC > 0.8). The female–female pairs scored higher for most steps, achieving excellent (ICC ≥ 0.9) for several steps and for overall performance. Female residents were more likely to give a higher self-evaluated score on own performance particularly if evaluated by a female faculty. Also, female trainees had highest correlation-score with male faculty. Conclusions This study found higher performance scores in female surgical residents evaluated during real-time laparoscopic appendectomy. No negative gender bias toward women was demonstrated. Better insight into the dynamics of gender-based interaction and dynamics in both training, feedback and influence on evaluation during training is needed when evaluating surgical training programs.