Objective: Explore whether perceived surgical performance during residency training may be a determining factor for Otolaryngology programs to have a predominantly male resident population. Study Design: Retrospective Study. Methods: Thirty-six trainees (26 males and 10 females) enrolled from 2006 to 2011 in our Otolaryngology training program were included in our study. Using previously validated assessment tools [task-based checklists (TBC) and global rating scales (GRS)], performance was compared for trainees- surgical competency in mastoidectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Non-parametric Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test was used to test the difference in evaluation scores between male and female trainees. Results: Even though we observed some differences comparing male and female residents- surgical skills in two settings for two OHNS procedures, none of these differences achieved a statistical significance in any of the evaluation scores between male and female trainees, for any PGY level. Probably the most noticeable difference we found in our study was between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents- mean ESS GRS scores in the laboratory, but with no statistical significance (p=0.13). Overall, male and female residents had comparable surgical performance in both procedures. Conclusions: The number of female residents in the field of Otolaryngology has been gradually increasing. Our results suggest that gender is not a predictor of better surgical performance in this specialty. Therefore, we believe it should not be considered a determining factor for the selection of future candidates.
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