Gender Influence on Specialists Ratings of Residency Program Candidates

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Sexism has been perceived at all levels of medical education. Although specialty training has been scrutinized from various perspectives, there have been few objective assessments of sexual discrimination in the selection of candidates. This study evaluates the responses of board-certified physicians to fictional residency applicants’ personal statements, which were identical except for gender. Male and female physicians from six specialties in which women were overrepresented and six specialties in which women were underrepresented all favored female candidates. Female physicians in both groups rated male candidates as less hardworking than did male physicians. Implications of these and other findings are discussed.

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