Investigating Association Between Sex and Faculty Teaching Evaluation in General Surgery Residency Programs: A Multi-Institutional Study

Surgery Educators Workgroup

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Abstract

Background: In specialties with gender imbalance, such as general surgery, women faculty frequently receive lower teaching evaluation scores compared with men, which can affect academic advancement. Study Design: We collected 1 year of anonymous resident-derived faculty teaching evaluations from 21 general surgery programs, along with resident, faculty, and department leadership gender complement. A composite evaluation score was calculated for each faculty. After accounting for within-program correlations, we compared male and female scores using the cluster-adjusted t-test to describe the respective mean differences with a 95% CI. Programs were divided into quartiles based on percent female faculty, female residents, and combined total females to detect associations between female representation and faculty teaching evaluation scores. Results: The 21 programs yielded 20,187 teaching evaluations of 1,177 faculty. Women comprised 28% of the faculty, 47% of residents, 43% of program directors, and 19% of department chairs. Overall, women faculty had significantly higher evaluation scores than men (90.6% vs 89.5%, p < 0.05). Female gender was associated with higher teaching evaluation scores compared with male faculty in the lowest quartiles for all combinations of women representation. Conclusions: This multi-institutional analysis of general surgical resident evaluations of faculty identified that female gender was associated with higher evaluation scores than men (although the difference was small). This unanticipated finding might reflect the slowly changing gender balance within general surgery and attitudes towards female faculty in a traditionally male-dominated field. Contrary to our hypothesis, female gender was associated with higher faculty evaluation scores at programs with fewer women faculty and fewer women residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315.e1
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume231
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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