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Background: Gender disparities continue to persist within the medical field. Adverse effects of gender bias are well documented, including among trainees in Emergency Medicine (EM). The extent to which gender bias affects interprofessional interactions is not well understood.

Objectives: The study aimed to understand perceptions and experiences of gender bias in interactions between emergency medicine (EM) residents and emergency department (ED) nurses.

Methods: This mixed-methods study involved eight key informant interviews and two focus groups, and an anonymous electronic survey administered to EM residents and nurses at two teaching hospitals. Quantitative analysis included descriptive statistics and between-group comparisons using Student t-tests and two-sample Wilcoxon rank-sum. Qualitative analysis used a inductive and thematic content analysis.

Results: Most participants identified gender as an important factor in ED interprofessional relationships. Key themes emerging from qualitative data include differential treatment and communication styles based on gender. 134 individuals completed the survey: 104 nurses (29% response rate), 30 residents (53% response rate). Females more frequently reported experiencing interprofessional gender bias than males [mean 30.9 (95% CI 25.6-36.2) vs 17.6 (95%CI 10.3-24.9)]. Residents of both genders reported witnessing interprofessional gender bias more frequently than nurses [mean 58.7 (95%CI 48.6-68.7) vs 23.9 (95%CI 19.4-28.4)]. Residents, compared to nurses, more frequently felt gender bias affects job satisfaction (p=0.002) and patient care (p=0.001). These differences were largely driven by female residents’ responses.

Conclusion/impact: Gender plays a significant role in shaping interprofessional interactions in the ED. Gender bias in interprofessional interactions contributes to workplace dissatisfaction, particularly for female residents. Initiatives to establish equitable relationships across the gender spectrum in EM are needed to address interprofessional gender bias.

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The Role of Gender in Nurse-Resident Interactions: A mixed-methods study