internship; residency; medical education; sexism; emergency medicine; physicians; women; leadership; gender disparities; chief resident


Emergency Medicine | Gender and Sexuality | Medical Education


Introduction: Although the number of women physicians has been increasing, there may be gender disparities in the assessment of female emergency medicine residents. This study sought to determine if female emergency medicine residents are less likely to become chief residents than males.

Methods: In July 2017, an anonymous survey was distributed to the program coordinators of all accredited emergency medicine residency programs in the United States. The survey requested the number of males and females in each graduating class from 2015 to 2017. The percentage of female residents who were chief residents was calculated and compared to that for males. Secondly, an analysis was performed to see if the region of the country or method of chief resident selection was associated with the chances of females becoming chief residents.

Results: Program coordinators from 57 residency programs responded to our survey (34% response rate). Of the 683 females in the three graduating classes, 182 (26.6%) were selected as chiefs. This percentage was very similar for males: 26.7% (311/1164). No differences in the female chief resident percentages were seen based upon the region of the country. Females were more likely to be chief residents in programs that selected chief residents by resident vote. No other factor relating to how chief residents are selected was found to have a statistically significant association with the percentage of female chief residents.

Conclusions: We found no evidence of a gender disparity with regards to the selection of chief residents for emergency medicine programs.