Promoting Gender Equity in Residency Training through Consensus Building

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

“Hi, I’m Dr. [Lastname]. I’ll be the doctor taking care of you today,” a female resident introduces herself to her patient. He responds: “Oh, hi, nurse, nice to meet you. Yeah, I just met Joe, the doctor,” referring to the attending physician, who introduced himself by his first name.

“We’re going to need to do a transvenous pacer for the patient in room 15,” the attending announces. A female senior resident, is eager to perform the procedure, but before she can express interest, a junior male resident has jumped up from his workstation and said, “I’d love to do it. I’ll grab the supplies now.” The attending responds: “Great!”

The above incidents are common types of gendered interpersonal interactions that affect female physicians’ confidence and educational opportunities in residency. They reflect broader problems of gender discrimination that female residents face in emergency medicine training.

Within our residency, we identified professional introductions and access to procedural opportunities as two areas of concern for female residents. A small working group above led residency-wide discussions to develop consensus strategies to respond to these issues, with the goal of prom