Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt? Performance Evaluations, Medical Errors, and the Production of Gender Inequality in Emergency Medical Education. By: Brewer, Alexandra; Osborne, Melissa; Mueller, Anna S.; O'Connor, Daniel M.; Dayal, Arjun; Arora, Vineet M. American Sociological Review. Apr2020, Vol. 85 Issue 2, p247-270. 24p.

Why do women continue to face barriers to success in professions, especially male-dominated ones, despite often outperforming men in similar subjects during schooling? With this study, we draw on role expectations theory to understand how inequality in assessment emerges as individuals transition from student to professional roles. To do this, we leverage the case of medical residency so that we can examine how changes in role expectations shape assessment while holding occupation and organization constant. By analyzing a dataset of 2,765 performance evaluations from a three-year emergency medicine training program, we empirically demonstrate that women and men are reviewed as equally capable at the beginning of residency, when the student role dominates; however, in year three, when the colleague role dominates, men are perceived as outperforming women. Furthermore, when we hold resident performance somewhat constant by comparing feedback to medical errors of similar severity, we find that in the third year of residency, but not the first, women receive more harsh criticism and less supportive feedback than men. Ultimately, this study suggests that role expectations, and the implicit biases they can trigger, matter significantly to the production of gender inequality, even when holding organization, occupation, and resident performance constant.