Differences in operative self-assessment between male and female plastic surgery residents: A survey of 8,149 cases

Carisa M. Cooney, Pathik Aravind, Scott D. Lifchez, C. Scott Hultman, Robert A. Weber, Sebastian Brooke, Damon S. Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Previous studies show female residents tend to underrate and male residents to overrate their own performance. We sought to determine if plastic surgery resident trainee self-evaluations differ by resident sex. Methods: We extracted Operative Entrustability Assessment (OEA) data for plastic surgery programs from MileMarker™, a program capable of storing assessment data for CPT-coded procedures. Complete OEAs contain a trainee self-assessment and attending surgeon assessment. We used simple statistics and linear regression to assess differences, stratifying by trainee sex and post-graduate year (PGY). Results: We analyzed 8149 OEAs from 3 training programs representing 64 residents (25% female) and 51 attendings. Compared to attending assessments, both male and female residents significantly underrated their performance during PGY1. However, during PGY2-6 male residents’ self-evaluations were significantly higher and female residents’ self-evaluations significantly lower than their attending evaluations. Conclusions: Results demonstrated female plastic surgery residents underestimated and male residents overestimated their performance. Further studies are needed to determine reasons for these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Gender differences
  • Graduate medical education
  • Operative skill
  • Resident assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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