To determine the impact of a resident’s reputation on the evaluation of their laparoscopic abilities was the goal of the study. Faculty gynecologists were randomly assigned to one of three hypothetical resident scenarios: one with good, average, or low surgical abilities. All participants were then asked to watch the same video of a resident performing a laparoscopic salpingo-oophorectomy, with the only difference being the resident description, and provide feedback using a modified OSATS (Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills) and a global assessment scale. To complete the study, 43 faculty gynecologic surgeons were recruited from September 6, 2020, to October 20, 2020. The adjusted OSATS and global evaluation scores ranged considerably by resident description, with the high-performing resident scoring the highest, followed by the average-performing resident, and lastly the low-performing resident.

The assessor’s knowledge of the resident’s previous performance influences the faculty’s appraisal of residents in gynecologic surgery. This knowledge creates bias, artificially increasing the ratings given to residents with good reputations while decreasing the scores provided to those with perceived surgical skill limitations. These findings quantify the impact of such prejudice on the evaluation of residents in the workplace and provide an incentive to investigate system-level measures to reduce bias.