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Gender Bias in Diagnostic Radiology Resident Selection, Does it Exist?

Published:November 25, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2015.10.018

      Rationale and Objectives

      To investigate whether there is a bias in the residency selection process that influences the proportion of females entering diagnostic radiology residencies.

      Materials and Methods

      A total of 4117 applications to one diagnostic radiology residency program from 2008 to 2014 were analyzed. Invitations to interview were evaluated by each year, specifically looking at gender. Ranking of applicants, especially those placed in top 25% of the rank, was also assessed. Additional data analyzed included United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 board examination score (a proxy for academic performance), interview scores, and final position on rank list.

      Results

      Female applicants averaged 24% of the total applicant pool during the years studied, yet made up a disproportionately high percentage of applicants invited to interview (30%) and those ranked in top 25% (38%). It was found that female applicants had slightly higher mean interview scores and lower Step 1 scores than male applicants.

      Conclusions

      Our findings suggest that program directors in one program want to increase gender diversity by making strides to keep the female candidate pool and the proportion of female residents in the program at least stable. The pipeline of female medical students pursuing a career in radiology appears to be a limiting factor rather than a bias against women in the resident selection process. Identifying such trends is important as it provides a better understanding of the etiology for an overall lack of gender diversity within the field. Furthermore, it may lead to closing the gender gap in radiology.

      Key Words

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