Despite being right at about the same rate or higher as their male counterparts, female medical students answering medical questions on a popular learning platform (www.osmosis.org) were significantly less confident about their answers than male participants, according to an Observation article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
When it comes to physician competency, confidence matters. Physicians who are overconfident may not ask for help when they need it, and physicians who are under-confident may practice defensive medicine which is more expensive. Research suggests that female medical students perform as well as their male peers but report less confidence in their abilities. Researchers analyzed the question answering behavior of 1,021 male and female users of a web- and mobile-learning platform called Osmosis (www.osmosis.org) to compare how their accuracy varied with their confidence. To answer a question in the platform, participants had to select one of three confidence ratings prior to submitting their answer: I’m sure; Feeling lucky; or No clue. The data showed that while women were as accurate as men in their answering behavior they were less confident about their responses.
Source: American College of Physicians