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Abstract Details

Addressing the Gender Gap in Residency Clinical Awards Using a Structured Blinded Selection Process
Education, Research, and Methodology
P6 - Poster Session 6 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)

Women are under-represented in the field of Neurology, especially at the leadership level. Awards can play an important role in career advancement. In the absence of a well-designed process for identifying award winners, there is a risk that the demographics of awardees will reflect those of voters. We hypothesized that a blinded merit-based approach for a junior neurology resident award could reduce bias and result a more balanced gender-profile for awardees.

To determine the effect of changing the criteria from faculty vote to a blinded clinical case report on reducing bias in a neurology resident award.  

In our program, an annual named award is given to PGY-2 residents who exemplify clinical excellence. From 2003-2018 this award was determined by votes from clinical faculty. In 2019 the award changed to a submitted case report that was independently reviewed by 5 faculty, using a structured scoring rubric. Committee members were blinded to the identity of the submitting resident. We compiled gender data for clinical faculty, residents, and award recipients from 2003 to 2022 and compared recipient gender profiles before and after the change.

From 2003-2018, 12/16 (75%) of award winners were male, more closely reflecting the gender distribution of voting faculty (77.9% male) than resident demographics (55.3% male). After the change in selection criteria, 0/8 winners were male (p<0.001). The proportion of male residents was significantly lower in 2019-22 (37.5% vs 55.3%, p=0.02), which could partially account for the decrease in male award winners.

Despite relatively small changes in the gender balance of faculty and residents there was a significant change in the gender balance of award winners when the process became blinded. Moving forward, utilizing a blinded process and more transparent selection criteria could lead to an increase in diversity of award winners in neurology residency programs.

Clare M. Lambert, MD
Dr. Lambert has received research support from BioGen.
Vanessa Cooper, MD (Yale University School of Medicine) Dr. Cooper has nothing to disclose.
Reshma Narula, MD (Yale Medicine) An immediate family member of Dr. Narula has received personal compensation in the range of $5,000-$9,999 for serving as a Consultant for abbot vascular. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Narula has received research support from Abbot Vascular Inc.. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Narula has received research support from US Food and Drug Administration . The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Narula has received research support from Women's Health Research at Yale.
Jeremy Moeller, MD, FAAN (Yale University) Dr. Moeller has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.