Gender Based Differences in Discriminatory Questions Asked of Urology Applicants during Residency Interviews

Mary Kate Keeter, Ashima Singal, Alysen Demzik, Alicia Roston, Nirali Shah, Stephanie J. Kielb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Interviews are essential to the residency application process. Questions regarding marital status, childbearing, ethnicity and religion violate employment law if asked by the interviewer. In this study we determined rates of discriminatory questions asked during urology residency interviews and assessed for differences by applicant gender. Methods: A 22-question anonymous survey was distributed to 340 urology residency applicants. Questions were asked in a 2-part, stepwise fashion. If candidates replied "no" to whether they introduced a restricted topic, they were subsequently asked how often interviewers introduced the topic. Results: Overall 35% of respondents believed they were asked an inappropriate question. However, for the 7 restricted topics assessed in this survey 54.5% of respondents reported being asked at least 1 unprompted illegal question. Of note, 85% of female respondents vs 44.9% of male respondents reported being asked about 1 of the restricted topics from the survey (p <0.0001). Women were statistically more likely to be asked about age (33.3% vs 12.4%, p=0.0064), parental status (59.1% vs 31.1%, p=0.0172) and intent for children (41.9% vs 12.5%, p=0.0003). Men were more frequently asked about their opinions and rankings of other residency programs (51.6% vs 18.8%, p=0.0296). Conclusions: An alarming percentage of urology applicants are asked interview questions that violate employment law. Female applicants are disproportionately questioned about age, parental status and intent for children. Education of interviewers regarding legally restricted questions is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalUrology Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • internship and residency
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • urology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gender Based Differences in Discriminatory Questions Asked of Urology Applicants during Residency Interviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this