Student Evaluation of Faculty Physicians: Gender Differences in Teaching Evaluations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Women's Health








© Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016. Purpose: To investigate whether there is a difference in medical student teaching evaluations for male and female clinical physician faculty. Methods: The authors examined all teaching evaluations completed by clinical students at one North American medical school in the surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and internal medicine clinical rotations from 2008 to 2012. The authors focused on how students rated physician faculty on their "overall quality of teaching" using a 5-point response scale (1 = Poor to 5 = Excellent). Linear mixed-effects models provided estimated mean differences in evaluation outcomes by faculty gender. Results: There were 14,107 teaching evaluations of 965 physician faculty. Of these evaluations, 7688 (54%) were for male physician faculty and 6419 (46%) were for female physician faculty. Female physicians received significantly lower mean evaluation scores in all four rotations. The discrepancy was largest in the surgery rotation (males = 4.23, females = 4.01, p = 0.003). Pediatrics showed the next greatest difference (males = 4.44, females = 4.29, p = 0.009), followed by obstetrics and gynecology (males = 4.38, females = 4.26, p = 0.026), and internal medicine (males = 4.35, females = 4.27, p = 0.043). Conclusions: Female physicians received lower teaching evaluations in all four core clinical rotations. This comprehensive examination adds to the medical literature by illuminating subtle differences in evaluations based on physician gender, and provides further evidence of disparities for women in academic medicine.