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Kidney Week

Abstract: FR-OR85

Exploring Unconscious Bias in Peer-to-Peer Interactions in Medical Conferences: A Retrospective Analysis

Session Information

Category: Diversity and Equity in Kidney Health

  • 900 Diversity and Equity in Kidney Health


  • Wahba, Joseph, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Vankireddy, Chaitanya Sai, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Aggarwal, Sandeep, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Unconscious bias in academic interactions has garnered increasing attention across several disciplines, including the field of medicine. We explored the presence of these biases using speakers’ introductions at ASN (American Society of Nephrology) Kidney Week.


We screened 535 archived sessions from ASN Kidney Week 2019 and 2021 to conduct this study. The moderators’ gender and academic title were documented, along with the presence of the speaker’s academic title, first name, and last name in each announcement. R.4.2.2 was used for inferential and descriptive statistics.


The professional title announcement frequency from highest to lowest were female moderators introducing female speakers (85%), female moderators introducing male speakers (77%), and male moderators introducing male (73%) or female speakers (72%). A multivariate logistic regression using variables “speaker rank,” “moderator rank,” “speaker gender,” “moderator gender,” “first name announcement,” and “last name announcement” found female moderators had the highest odds ratio of title announcement (OR = 1.76 (Female vs Male), p = 0.01) and high academic rank had the lowest odds ratio of title announcement (OR = 0.66 (higher rank), p = 0.01). Another multivariate analysis combining variables of “moderator gender” with “speaker gender” and “moderator rank” with “speaker rank” found that males (moderators) introducing females (speakers) had the lowest (OR = 0.48, p = 0.05), whereas associate professors introducing professors had the highest title announcement odds (OR = 4, p = 0.001).


Our findings suggest the possibility that unconscious bias exists in peer to peer interactions in renal academic circles, though larger studies are necessary to understand the extent of this issue and the interplay of additional variables.

Title Announcement Odds Predictors (Only Statistically Significant Results Included)
Predictor VariableOR (Odds Ratio)Standard Errorp-value
Moderator Gender1.762.2482.01
Moderator Rank.6594.1909.01
Male Moderator/Female Speaker Introductions.4885.4271.05
Associate Professor Moderator/Professor Speaker Introductions4.141.4617.001