sheMD Journal Club

Competency-Based Student Self-Assessment

on a Surgery Rotation

Want to see evidence of the Imposter Phenomenon in action? Take a look at this study, entitled "Competency-Based Student Self-Assessment on a Surgery Rotation" by D. Scott Lind et al.  To see the article itself and the research publisehd in the Journal of Surgical Research, click here

This study looked at medical students self-assessment during their surgery clerkship and then looked at the faculty evaluation of the students.  They found that female students significantly underestimated their midclerkship performance compared with male students on a surgery rotation. They also found that the male students over-estimated their performance, however this did not reach significance.

When they looked at the faculty evaluations, they found that the female medical students SIGNIFICANTLY outperformed their male colleagues on the surgery clerkship. (Who says surgery is for men?!?)   It is important to recognize that women OFTEN underestimate themselves and judge their own performance as WORSE than it actually is.  

What did the study conclude? "Women may underreport their capabilities when compared with men as a result of gender differences in socialization. These gender differences in self-assessment may be important to recognize when faculty provide feedback to students."  YES! We have to be aware that gender differences exist in medical education - both as the EDUCATOR and as the LEARNER!