Gender Differences in Entrustable Professional Activity Evaluations of General Surgery Residents

Elena P. Padilla, Christopher C. Stahl, Sarah A. Jung, Alexandra A. Rosser, Patrick B. Schwartz, Taylor Aiken, Alexandra W. Acher, Daniel E. Abbott, Jacob A. Greenberg, Rebecca M. Minter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective:To determine differences in entrustable professional activity (EPA) assessments between male and female general surgery residents.Summary Background Data:Evaluations play a critical role in career advancement for physicians. However, female physicians in training receive lower evaluations and underrate their own performance. Competency-based assessment frameworks, such as EPAs, may help address gender bias in surgery by linking evaluations to specific, observable behaviors.Methods:In this cohort study, EPA assessments were collected from July 2018 to May 2020. The effect of resident sex on EPA entrustment levels was analyzed using multiple linear and ordered logistic regressions. Narrative comments were analyzed using latent dirichlet allocation to identify topics correlated with resident sex.Results:Of the 2480 EPAs, 1230 EPAs were submitted by faculty and 1250 were submitted by residents. After controlling for confounding factors, faculty evaluations of residents were not impacted by resident sex (estimate = 0.09, P = 0.08). However, female residents rated themselves lower by 0.29 (on a 0-4 scale) compared to their male counterparts (P < 0.001). Within narrative assessments, topics associated with resident sex demonstrated that female residents focus on the "guidance" and "supervision" they received while performing an EPA, while male residents were more likely to report "independent" action.Conclusions:Faculty assessments showed no difference in EPA levels between male and female residents. Female residents rate themselves lower by nearly an entire post graduate year (PGY) level compared to male residents. Latent dirichlet allocation-identified topics suggest this difference in self-assessment is related to differences in perception of autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • entrustable professional activities (EPAs)
  • gender bias
  • general surgery
  • resident education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender Differences in Entrustable Professional Activity Evaluations of General Surgery Residents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this