The effect of gender dyads on the quality of narrative assessments of general surgery trainees
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Background: Prior studies have shown that gender can influence how learners are assessed and the feedback they receive. We investigated the quality of faculty narrative comments in general surgery trainee evaluation using trainee-assessor gender dyads. Methods: Narrative assessments of surgical trainees at the University of British Columbia were collected and rated using the McMaster Narrative Comment Rating Scale (MNCRS). Variables from the MNCRS were inputted into a generalized linear mixed model to explore the impact of gender dyads on the quality of narrative feedback. Results: 2,469 assessments were collected. Women assessors tended to give higher-quality comments (p's < 0.05) than men assessors. Comments from men assessors to women trainees were significantly more positive than comments from men assessors to men trainees (p = 0.02). Men assessors also tended to give women trainees more reinforcing than corrective comments than to men trainees (p < 0.01). Conclusions: There are significant differences in the quality of faculty feedback to trainees by gender dyads. A range of solutions to improve and reduce differences in feedback quality are discussed.
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