From the Journals

No gender bias found in ABS exam

 

Key clinical point: The gender of examinees and the gender of examiners do not affect ABS exam outcomes.

Major finding: No correlation was found between surgeon gender and CE ratings received.

Study details: Investigators examined data from the 2016-2017 ABS general surgery certifying exam, which consisted of 1,341 examinees and 216 examiners.

Disclosures: The authors reported no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.

Source: Ong et al. J Surg Res. 2018 Jun. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.06.014.


 

Neither the gender of examinees nor the gender of examiners affected the outcome of American Board of Surgery (ABS) certifying examinations, an analysis found.

Lead author Thai Q. Ong of the James Madison University Center for Assessment and Research Studies, Harrisonburg, Va., and colleagues examined data from the 2016-2017 ABS general surgery certifying exam (CE), which included 1,341 examinees and 216 examiners. Of examinees, 61% were male and of examiners, 82% were male. Investigators used factorial analysis of variance and logistic regression analyses to evaluate the effect of examinee and examiner gender on CE ratings and likelihood of passing the CE.

Results showed that gender was not a factor in rates received, and the gender of examiners had no bearing on the ratings they gave examinees of either gender, according to the study, published in the Journal of Surgical Research. In addition, examiner teams of different gender combinations did not affect their ratings of examinees. The investigators found also that examinee gender was not a significant predictor of session pass rates nor was examiner gender a factor in session pass rates.

The study authors concluded that there is no evidence of gender bias in ABS certifying exam rates or the likelihood of passing the exam. “Although these findings are favorable, the ABS continues to undertake efforts to minimize potential examiner bias in future examinations. All examiners are required to participate in rater training as well as implicit bias training in advance of the general surgery CE. The ABS has also added information on preventing implicit bias in the instructions that examiners receive in preparation for these exams.”

However, they noted, further studies should be conducted to replicate the results and explore other possible sources of examiner bias in CE ratings.

The authors reported no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.

SOURCE: Ong et al. J Surg Res. 2018 June doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.06.014.

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