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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 37-49

Ethnic and gender bias in objective structured clinical examination: A critical review

1 Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
2 Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
3 Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Iris C. I. Chao
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2R3.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_2_21

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This critical review aimed to synthesize the literature and critique the strength of the methodological quality of current evidence regarding examiner bias related to ethnicity and gender in objective structured clinical examination implemented in health professions education. The Guidelines for Critical Review (GCR) was used to critically appraise the selected studies. Ten studies were retrieved for review. The overall quality of the papers was moderate. Two studies met all the criteria of the GCR, indicating stronger evidence of their outcomes. One of them reported ethnic and gender bias potentially existing, while another found only one examiner showing consistent ethnic bias. No systematic bias was found across the studies. Nonetheless, the possibility of ethnic or gender bias by some examiners cannot be ignored. To mitigate potential examiner bias, the investigation of implicit bias training, frame of reference training, the use of multiple examiners, and combination assessments are suggested.

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