Assessing Gender Differences in Technical Skills and Confidence in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Applicants.
INTRODUCTION: Variations in confidence for procedural skills have been demonstrated when comparing male and female medical students in surgical training. This study investigates whether differences in technical skill and self-reported confidence exist between male and female medical students applying to orthopaedic residency.
METHODS: All medical students (2017 to 2020) invited to interview at a single orthopaedic residency program were prospectively evaluated on their technical skills and self-reported confidence. Objective evaluation of technical skill included scores for a suturing task as evaluated by faculty graders. Self-reported confidence in technical skills was assessed before and after completing the assigned task. Scores for male and female students were compared by age, self-identified race/ethnicity, number of publications at the time of application, athletic background, and US Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 score.
RESULTS: Two hundred sixteen medical students were interviewed, of which 73% were male (n = 158). No gender differences were observed in suture task technical skill scores or mean difference in simultaneous visual task scores. The mean change from pre-task and post-task self-reported confidence scores was similar between sexes. Although female students trended toward lower post-task self-reported confidence scores compared with male students, this did not achieve statistical significance. Lower self-reported confidence was associated with a higher US Medical Licensing Examination score and with attending a private medical school.
DISCUSSION: No difference in technical skill or confidence was found between male and female applicants to a single orthopaedic surgery residency program. Female applicants trended toward self-reporting lower confidence than male applicants in post-task evaluations. Differences in confidence have been shown previously in surgical trainees, which may suggest that differences in skill and confidence may develop during residency training.
Published In/Presented At
Kerluku, J., Wessel, L., Ling, D., Nguyen, J. T., Felix, K. J., Sutton, K. M., & Fufa, D. T. (2023). Assessing Gender Differences in Technical Skills and Confidence in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Applicants. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Global research & reviews, 7(7), e22.00265. https://doi.org/10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-22-00265
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine